FIFA sources said that FIFA President Sepp Blatter "imagines the 2022 World Cup final to take place on Dec. 18 in Qatar," according to Rainer Franzke of KICKER. The new plans mean the World Cup would start mid-November instead of January and become a "Christmas fairytale" (KICKER, 7/25). LATINOS POST reported the tournament "is usually hosted in June when European domestic leaves are on their annual break." The leagues "usually resume in August and finish their first half in January for a month-long break." Many believed that the World Cup "could fit in the January break." While this "would certainly anger teams it would not disrupt the season." However, a move to November "would alter season schedules and would also cripple the yearly Champions league; group stage matches take place in November." A number of organization representatives "have already voiced their disapproval for this plan" (LATINOS POST, 7/25).
Events and Attractions
Red Bull Owner Dietrich Mateschitz will be "digging in to his own pockets to fund the return of the Austrian Grand Prix," according to Kuntschik & Noble of AUTOSPORT. Red Bull reached an agreement with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone for a seven-year deal that will "bring F1 back to the Spielberg track for the first time" since '03. Mateschitz said that the Austrian GP "will not generate a surplus for Red Bull, which owns the Spielberg track, but that he is happy to fund it himself because of the profits that F1 has delivered for his own team." Mateschitz, when asked if Ecclestone had given any special conditions, said, "No. But we can rely on the bonus that F1 always enjoyed in coming to Austria, and that we can offer a 'charming' GP that is a little different to others. Ticket revenues will probably cover the cost of staging the race, but not the promoter's fee. That's my expense." Mateschitz revealed that "efforts to secure the Austrian GP ramped up at the end of last year, even though he had targeted an F1 race" since the track reopened two years ago. Mateschitz: "By opening the Red Bull Ring, F1 became an ongoing subject in Austria. We had a couple of discussions, not regularly, but constantly." Mateschitz "expects a crowd of around 60,000 for next year's race, but will need permission for that number of spectators because current limits imposed by the local authorities allow a maximum of 40,000 at an event" (AUTOSPORT, 7/25).
The U.K. Government announced that it will provide £10M ($15.4M) of the expected £21M ($32.3M) cost of next year's Tour de France Grand Depart, according to Martyn Ziegler of the PA. Former UK Sport Chair and Rugby Football League Chair Rodney Walker "has been appointed to head the organising committee for next year's event in Yorkshire." Sports Minister Hugh Robertson announced the Government funding on Thursday, "with the remainder coming from local authorities and other partners." The new organizing committee, called TDF 2014 Ltd., "will have a board that includes representation from Yorkshire and Cambridge local authorities, as well as British Cycling, Transport for London and UK Sport" (PA, 7/25).
The head of Zambia's football governing body said that the country will "push in the bid for hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament" with the Confederation of African Football in September (XINHUA, 7/25). ... Five days ahead of the start of the '13-14 Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) season, the BBL will host the 2013 Champions Cup between league champion Brose Baskets Bamberg and Cup winner Alba Berlin. Ticket sales for the game, which will take place at Berlin's O2 World on Sept. 28, will start on Aug. 5 with prices ranging between €8-€50 ($10.60-66.20) (BBL). ... The Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee said on Wednesday that the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation's (ISSF) General Assembly will convene in Azerbaijan in '15 (XINHUA, 7/25). ... Vietnam will hold "another six national golf tournaments in the second half of this year." Golf in Vietnam "is developing strongly and gets more popular, with 31 courses currently operational and about 10,000 regular golf players" (XINHUA, 7/25).