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Volume 6 No. 216

Events and Attractions

Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop revealed that the FFA "intends to have an FA Cup-style knockout competition up and running next year with a projected final on Australia Day in 2015," according to Jeffery & Mason of THE AUSTRALIAN. Gallop said that FFA officials "were still working out the details but the FFA Cup was scheduled to begin in just 12 months, with the lower-ranked teams in action first and the A-League teams joining in September-October next year when their regular season begins." About 700 teams from Australia "are expected to compete, ranging from the A-League to state league teams and even amateur teams." Gallop warned that there "were logistical and financial challenges to be overcome before the competition could go ahead." He said, "We need to make sure it works commercially. But the concept of combining the grassroots and the elite level has obvious appeal" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/11).

AN OLD MODEL: REUTERS' Patrick Johnston reported the tournament is based on England's FA Cup model. The English FA Cup, the oldest association football tournament in the world, "has a straight knockout format open to both amateur and professional teams with sides from the Premier League given a bye to the third round." Australia's A-League "already combines both the league and knockout elements with the champions decided after a playoff series at the end of the regular season" (REUTERS, 4/10).

The FA Cup semifinal between League Championship side Millwall and EPL club Wigan at Wembley Saturday "will be open to 'neutral' supporters following the Premier League team's struggle to sell tickets," according to David Kent of the London DAILY MAIL. Wigan has not sold 10,000 of its 31,000 tickets for the last-four tie against Millwall, and the FA has "intervened by opening a mixed zone for spectators." Both teams "were given just over 31,000 tickets" and Millwall, which is based in London, is expected to sell its full quota (DAILY MAIL, 4/10). The BBC reported even with sales in the neutral zone, the authorities "expect a minimum of 14,000 empty seats at Wembley." Wigan's failure to sell out its section "is not altogether unexpected, with the club averaging just short of 19,000 for home matches" in the EPL this season (BBC, 4/10).

The Int'l Volleyball Federation (FIVB) revealed that Switzerland and Brazil have been confirmed as hosts of the FIVB women's and men's Club World Championship tournaments for the next three years, respectively (FIVB). ... Australian Football League Collingwood President Eddie McGuire "has proposed a Round 1 clash for premiership points in Dubai next year." The proposal, while still in its formative stages, "is for the game to be played in March as part of an international trade and sports push promoting Australia in Dubai" (HERALD SUN, 4/11). ... Malaysia "is bidding to host the 2019 Asian Cup, looking to edge out 10 other countries interested in holding the region's premier football tournament" (AFP, 4/10). ... The FEI World Cup Jumping China League "will leap off at the National Stadium in Beijing from April 29 to May 5." The league "will be divided into three stops, with two qualification events and a final" (CHINA DAILY, 4/10).