Australia's 2015 Asian Cup LOC has announced that it "will join forces with A-League clubs to host Korean-themed events" at matches in '13-14 in a bid to promote the tournament, according to SOCCEREX. Five cities will "host games during the country’s staging of the Asian Cup, with Sydney’s 84,000-seat Stadium Australia set to stage the tournament final." Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Newcastle were also "awarded host city status" for the Asian Football Confederation’s "showpiece national team competition in March," and the tournament is set to be Australia’s first since it took the decision to join the AFC in '06. LOC CEO Michael Brown said that the 2015 Asian Cup had been awarded a $36,600 grant "from the Australia-Korea Foundation to increase Australia’s understanding of Korea -- a strategically important market for the tournament and the country as a whole." Brown: "The eyes of Asia will be on Australia in January 2015 and we as a country need to take advantage of that. Korea is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner and based on figures from previous tournaments we expect tens of millions of Koreans to tune in to the Asian Cup in 2015 and thousands more to travel here for the tournament" (SOCCEREX, 8/13).
Events and Attractions
Scotland Manager Gordon Strachan is urging his players "to keep their emotions in check" when football's oldest rivalry, England vs. Scotland, resumes after a 14-year hiatus Wednesday night at Wembley Stadium, according to Paul Forsyth of the LONDON TIMES. A Tartan army of at least 20,000 "is expected to make the trip south," but Strachan wants his players "to detach themselves from the hype that has accompanied the first meeting of the countries since 1999." Strachan: "You don’t want to get carried away with this passion thing. Fighting and scrapping, ‘we’re the Scots and you took land off us hundreds of years ago’ ... forget that. If you are really passionate, jump higher, run quicker, run further. Don’t go fighting and screaming at referees and crashing into people." The rivalry "used to be an annual fixture on the international calendar until crowd trouble led to its removal." It is safe to assume that Strachan "wasn't showing his squad a certain Mel Gibson movie" at its St. Albans hotel on Tuesday night. Strachan: “That’s not really a true story, that Braveheart, anyway. It was kind of made up” (LONDON TIMES, 8/14).
Indian Badminton League teams Krrish Delhi Smashers, which is led by Jwala Gutta, and the Pune Pistons, featuring Ashwini Ponnappa, "will lock horns" in the tournament opener of the inaugural IBL on Wednesday. The opening ceremony will start at 6:30pm, which will "have regular song and dance shows before the high-profile clash between Delhi and Pune begins" at 8pm (PTI, 8/13). ... Motorsports governing body FIA has "received a proposed 2014 calendar from the World Rally Championship promoter, but the governing body insists no firm decisions have been taken on which rallies are in and out for next season." FIA Rally Dir Jamo Mahonen said, "We all know about the economic situation in Greece. But no decisions on the calendar have been taken -- what we have is a proposal" (AUTOSPORT, 8/13). ... The Asian Tour will return to Vietnam in September with a $500,000 event to be held Sept. 19-22 in Hanoi (AFP, 8/13).