Thousands of supporters "were left frustrated after tickets for the game between India and Pakistan in the Champions Trophy next year were sold out in little more than an hour" Monday morning, according to Richard Hobson of the LONDON TIMES. The contest "proved far more popular than both England's first group game against Australia and the final itself," with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) "pledging to clamp down on touts after tickets were put up for sale on eBay by lunchtime." Tournament Dir Steve Elworthy denied that the ECB "had underestimated demand and described the early rush as 'incredibly positive for the tournament.'" Even though, "there were complaints of lengthy delays to reach the relevant online portal or to get through on the phone." Evidence has emerged of India and Pakistan followers "signing up for the England supporters’ club run by the ECB, known as 'Twelfth Man,' to enable them to buy tickets during a priority booking window, which opened on Friday last week, three days before they went on public sale" (LONDON TIMES, 11/5).
Events and Attractions
Sajik Stadium in Busan, South Korea will serve as the venue for the Asia Series baseball tournament from Thursday to Sunday, according to Yoo Jee-ho of YONHAP. This year, six clubs from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and Australia will compete for 500M won ($458,000) in championship prize money. The Samsung Lions and Lotte Giants will represent the Korea Baseball Organization. Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball will be represented by the Yomiuri Giants. Australia will send the Perth Heat, champion of the Australian Baseball League. Taiwan's Lamigo Monkeys will represent the Chinese Professional Baseball League. The China Baseball League will have an all-star squad named the China Stars. The six teams have been divided into two groups of three, and after round-robin play over three days the top club from each group will meet in the final (YONHAP, 11/5).
Despite "outlandish scenes" at the "Duel at Jinsha Lake" between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy last week in China, Mission Hills Golf Club Chair & CEO Ken Chu said such events were "fine" as they helped raise the profile of golf in China, according to the AFP. Chu also "played down the need for more domestic tournaments" after China's two best golfers --Wu Ashun and Liang Wenchong -- "voiced concerns over a lack of playing opportunities." Last week's "Duel" in Zhengzhou was "met with bemusement and guffaws by golf aficionados" after fans invaded the practice range and fairways, helicopters were parked next to greens and models in evening wear posed at the tees. Chu refused to criticize the event, which is "following a path laid out by Mission Hills when it hosted Woods at an exhibition in '01," his first appearance in China. Chu: "Players don't necessarily play in all the tournaments on a weekly basis, they do want some time off -- and they do want to make some side money" (AFP, 11/5).
After receiving the final requisitions from FIFA for provisional installations, the 2014 World Cup host cities "were frightened by the cost increase" and have already asked the federal government for help, according to Rodrigo Mattos of UOL.com.br. The initial estimates indicate between R$20M ($9.8M) and R$40M ($19.6M) in additional costs per host city. That number "could double" for cities also hosting Confederations Cup matches. The host cities have asked the Brazilian federal government for help. Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo "has not signaled that he plans on providing money because state and municipal government are suppose to cover those charges." Host cities are responsible for "media space, volunteer space, competition offices, security and control points" (UOL.com.br, 11/5).