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Volume 6 No. 197

Events and Attractions

More than 588,000 tickets, 71% of the total inventory, have been sold for next month's Confederations Cup in Brazil. The event will exceed the average capacity of 83% set at the 2005 Festival of Champions. Tickets will remain on sale through May 24 on FIFA's website. The last remaining tickets will then be sold online and at one of the six FIFA venue ticketing centers starting on June 1 (FIFA). REUTERS reported that this year's event "will be the best attended ever." FIFA Marketing Dir Thierry Weil said, "Yet we are very confident that we will break another record for the FIFA Confederations Cup, with the Brazilians providing the global TV audience with a glimpse of what kind of stadium atmosphere to expect in 2014." Some 58,000 tickets have been sold for Brazil's opening match against Japan in Brasilia and 60,000 have already gone for the final, but Tahiti versus Nigeria in Belo Horizonte "is proving less of a draw" with only 10,000 sold so far. FIFA said that 97% of the tickets sold so far "had been purchased by Brazilians" (REUTERS, 5/7).

New CONMEBOL President Eugenio Figueredo wants a Copa Libertadores "with less teams, more competition, and 'that pays more,'" according to OLE. Figueredo plans changes for the Copa Libertadores to make "a more competitive and higher-paying product." To make this happen, Figueredo said that only the best, or the two best teams, from each country should participate, instead of three, four, five or even six, as is currently the case. For this, he proposes that "teams from the same country eliminate each other." Another reason Figueredo wants fewer teams is to guarantee higher-quality officiating. Figueredo: "There are 150 teams and 150 groups of officials. But we have very little qualified human material. So we see a bad level of officiating when many are not capable. And there is no time to look for excellence" (OLE, 5/7).

For the first time in its history, the Euroliga Final Four could be played before empty seats, according to José Ignacio Huguet of MUNDO DEPORTIVO. "Save for an important discount of season tickets or an increase in invitations," London's O2 Arena will not be full for Friday through Sunday, when the new continental champion will be crowned. Tuesday afternoon Euroliga still had a significant number of tickets to sell, with only 14,644 of O2's 18,000 seats already sold (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 5/7).

China's men's national football team "will play against the Netherlands" in a friendly int'l in Beijing on June 11. The Dutch team will feature strikers Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben in its China visit (XINHUA, 5/7). ... Australia and New Zealand "could be a part of future Pacific Games." Following the Oceania National Olympic Committee gathering in the Fijian resort town of Nadi last month, some talks are "in the pipeline to consider such changes to the Pacific's biggest sporting event" (XINHUA, 5/7). ... A French Cup semifinal scheduled for Tuesday between Troyes and Girondins Bordeaux was "postponed due to the risk of flooding." Troyes is situated in the Aube department, one of three in the Champagne-Ardenne region in north-central France issued with a weather warning. The fixture will be played next Tuesday (REUTERS, 5/7). ... Indian Premier League organizers have announced to "open up counters to sell tickets for Ranchi matches from Wednesday, ending long wait of the fans who do not have access" to Internet booking (TIMES OF INDIA, 5/7).