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Volume 10 No. 25

Events and Attractions

German second division hockey club Eispiraten Crimmitschau "is considering playing an outdoor game at the Leipzig football stadium against league rival Eislöwen Dresden," according to the SID. Club Managing Dir René Rudorisch "wants to talk to the stadium operator before the end of the week." Rudorisch: "We've surprised people here and there in the past. The arena would obviously be a great venue to host a Winter Game." Stadium operation group Managing Dir Winfried Lonzen said that he is "in general open to the idea." The sticking points "are finances and the playing field." The stadium's grass "would have to be replaced in order to construct an ice rink and that is very difficult during the winter." However, should "there be a solution, the game between Crimmitschau and Dresden could take place on Jan. 11" (SID, 9/25).

The Welsh, Scottish and Irish Rugby Unions insist their clubs "will not participate in any European competition unless it has the 'full approval'" of the Int'l Rugby Board, according to the BBC. English and French clubs "will quit the Heineken Cup next year and have proposed the rival Rugby Champions Cup." The Scottish Rugby Union said that it is "fully committed to the development of a pan European rugby competition." The SRU said in a statement, "Scottish Rugby remains committed to working with our colleagues across Europe and encourages all parties to fully engage in meaningful negotiations." Statements issued by the Irish and Welsh Rugby Unions, "whose sides play in the RaboDirect Pro12 league alongside the Scottish regions, were worded in a near-identical fashion," and their stance was "backed by the Italian federation as well" (BBC, 9/26). The Irish Rugby Football Union said in its statement, "The Irish Rugby Football Union wishes to clarify that its clubs will not be participating in future tournaments which do not have the full approval of the International Rugby Board (IRB) or the relevant National Rugby Unions" (EUROSPORT, 9/26).

THE ONLY WAY: In London, Alex Lowe wrote Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty insisted that Pro 12 clubs have “no viable alternative” than to join the new Rugby Champions Cup. He responded to the Celtic clubs' statement by saying "he had received between five and 10 expressions of interest from clubs who want to join the new European competition." McCafferty: "We know a lot of the teams want to be in the Rugby Champions Cup” (LONDON TIMES, 9/27).

After a terror attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi on Saturday, the incident's effect "is spiraling forcing the postponement of the Hockey Africa Nations Cup tournament," according to John Kwoba of XINHUA. The Africa Hockey Federation (AfHF) in consultation with the Int'l Hockey Federation (FIH) "have pushed back" the field hockey tournament start date from Thursday to Tuesday in Nairobi. The continental body also said that "four countries have also withdrawn from the tournament citing security concerns and lack of funds." Namibia, Nigeria and Seychelles will join Egypt, which "pulled out of the tournament a month ago because they could not get humble time to train back at home due to political uprising in Egypt." This leaves "South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya as the only teams who have confirmed participation" (XINHUA, 9/25).

FIFA World Cup sponsor McDonald’s "has confirmed its participation in the conference programme at this year’s Soccerex African Forum," which takes place in Durban, South Africa on Tuesday and Wednesday (SOCCEREX, 9/26). ... Organizers said that the 2014 Giro d'Italia "will now get underway in Belfast," Northern Ireland on May 9. The race, which usually begins on a Saturday, "will begin a day early in 2014 to accommodate an extra rest day during which the teams will transfer from Ireland to Italy for the rest of the race" (EUROSPORT, 9/26).