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Volume 6 No. 212

Events and Attractions

The Austrian Handball Federation (ÖHB) "will submit a bid to host the men's 2020 European Handball Championships," according to KURIER. The European Handball Federation said Thursday that "Sweden, Norway and Denmark have also declared their intentions to host the event." The countries "have to submit their official applications to the EHF by December." The EHF "will announce the host nation for the event in Sept. '14 at its congress in Dublin." ÖHB General Secretary Martin Hausleitner said that Austria "proved its capability during the men's 2010 European Handball Championships." Hausleitner added that "just like three years ago, Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck and Linz will likely also be the host cities in '20" (KURIER, 9/12).

The German Hockey League (DEL) and five other European hockey leagues "are planning the reintroduction of a European Cup competition starting with the '14-15 season," according to the SID. DEL CEO Gernot Tripcke said, "We want to revive the European Cup. We hope we can announce its return at the end of the year." The plans "call for a competition consisting of about 40 teams from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Austria and the Czech Republic." Tripcke said that "teams from top economic areas will be automatically qualified." In addition, the "competitively best teams will also qualify." The DEL "will compete with a maximum of six teams, consisting of four automatically seeded clubs plus a champion and regular-season champion." The new competition "is supposed to replace the European Trophy, which is currently played in the form of an invitational preseason tournament" (SID, 9/10).

The Hong Kong Cricket Association announced "with great regret" that it has canceled the Hong Kong Sixes, scheduled for October. The association cited the difficulty in securing sufficient government funding and private sector backing as the primary reason to cancel the event. The HKCA said it remains committed to hosting the Cricket Sixes on an annual basis again beginning in '14. In a statement, the HKCA exec committee said, "We apologise to the many local cricket fans and our many long-serving corporate supporters for whom this weekend has been a highlight of the local calendar for many years, but it was decided by the Executive Committee that it would be better to cancel rather than leave the association open to a potentially significant financial loss" (HKCA).

The Russian FA "formally declared Thursday it would propose St. Petersburg as a host city for the 13-nation Euro 2020 football tournament," according to R-SPORT. Euro 2020 "will be held in cities across Europe for the first time under an initiative" from UEFA President Michel Platini. One country "will host the semifinals and final, and the other 12 will hold a mix of group stage and knockout matches." Bidding ends Thursday. The city known as Russia's "Window on Europe" joins Budapest, Belgrade and Istanbul, which have "also reportedly submitted bids for Euro 2020." Istanbul is considered "the favorite to host the semifinals and final" (R-SPORT, 9/12).

AZERBAIJAN JOINS RACE: INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Paul Nicholson reported Azerbaijan has added its name to the list of European nations bidding to host Euro 2020 matches, "putting forward Baku and the new Olympic stadium currently under construction as their venue" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 9/12).

FFP BACKS LYON: The AFP reported the French Football Federation "has put forth Lyon as a candidate to host matches at Euro 2020." Taking into account the "58,000 capacity of Lyon's Grand Stade, which should be completed in time for the second half of the 2015-16 season, the stadium would only be able to bid for games in the early rounds" (AFP, 9/12).

A "manifesto has been published as campaigners step up attempts to reintroduce a women's Tour de France," according to the BBC. The manifesto "calls for a women's event, last held in 2009, to be run alongside the men's race from 2014." More than 93,000 have "signed a petition" by the Le Tour Entier campaign group. The manifesto -- which has been sent to the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) and Tour de France Owners Amaury Sport Organisation -- also requests that "three women's tours are established, and race and stage length restrictions for women abolished" (BBC, 9/12).

South Africa could end up hosting next year's Indian Premier League if the "cash-rich T20 tournament is taken out of India due to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections." Board of Control for Cricket in India "mandarins have informally discussed alternative venues, but a clear picture will emerge once the election dates are announced" (TNN, 9/11). ... Bolivia plans to "launch a tourism promotion campaign to tout the attractions in the southwest of the country, which which will host part of the 2014 Dakar Rally off-road endurance race" (XINHUA, 9/12). ... New Zealand's field hockey bosses "have submitted bids to host a major world event." Hockey New Zealand has advised the Int'l Hockey Federation that it wants to "host either the 2018 men's or women's World Cup, or the joint Champions event that year" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 9/12).