The Australian Football League "is considering launching the 2014 season at least two weeks earlier with a blockbuster clash" between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and Sydney Swans at Skoda Stadium, according to Tyson Otto of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. GWS CEO David Matthews Tuesday said that "he will submit a fixture request to the AFL to host the Swans at Skoda Stadium in round one" -- and has preliminary support from AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou. The AFL "has already declared its intent to start the season earlier" to go head to head with the National Rugby League in New South Wales and Queensland, "giving fledgling clubs Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney more hype and commercial muscle in their competitive sporting markets" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/10).
Events and Attractions
When more than 200 tonnes and NZ$40M ($34M) of V8 Supercars "touch down in purpose-built aircraft at Auckland International Airport it will be one of the largest airlifts in New Zealand sporting history," according to Morgan Tait of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. Two 747-400 aircraft are due to arrive from Melbourne Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, "carrying 32 cars, containers of support gear and spare engines, gear boxes and 784 wheels." ITM400 V8 Supercars Media Manager Ian Hepenstall said that "more than 300 team personnel will also arrive in the country on separate flights" (NZ HERALD, 4/9).
The allocated tickets for the Int'l Cricket Council Champions Trophy match between rivals India and Pakistan scheduled on June 15 at the Edgbaston in Birmingham "has been sold out within half an hour of its release for online sales" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 4/9). ... The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has "brushed aside media reports suggesting that Pakistan’s tour of the Caribbean this year is in jeopardy." A WICB statement released Monday "says the board remains optimistic that the tour will take place in July as planned and says negotiations are still being held to finalize plans" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 4/9). ... Australia "will continue to compete in future editions of the East Asian Cup despite their impending membership of Southeast Asia's ASEAN Football Federation." The Socceroos "will have their AFF invite affiliation upgraded" at the federation's Extraordinary Congress in August, but have "no plans to compete in its biennial Suzuki Cup against teams more than 100 places below them in the FIFA rankings" (EURO SPORT, 4/9).