Twickenham has "been selected to host the final of the inaugural European Rugby Champions' Cup, the tournament which replaces the Heineken Cup, next May," according to Gavin Mairs of the London TELEGRAPH. The London venue is "understood to have been preferred to the Stade de France in Paris to host the showpiece event on the weekend of May 1-2." The final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup, the second-tier competition, will "also be held in London, with Harlequins' Stoop stadium, which has a capacity of 15,000, likely to host the game." Twickenham is "understood to be regarded as the safe option, given that it has the largest capacity at 83,000 and can generate the most revenue as it is solely owned by the Rugby Football Union." Tickets for the final, which will be broadcast by both BT Sport and Sky Sports, are "expected to go on sale next month" (TELEGRAPH, 8/12). REUTERS' Michael Hann reported the "new-look" Champions Cup, which replaces the Heineken Cup after a "long-running dispute between English and French clubs and the European Rugby Cup (ERC)," consists of 20 teams from the Six Nations countries. The decision to pick Twickenham as the host venue "comes as a blow to the Italian city of Milan which had been scheduled to host the 2015 Heineken Cup final at the San Siro" (REUTERS, 8/12).
Events and Attractions
Owing to the outbreak of the epidemic Ebola Virus Disease, organizers of the annual Milo Basketball championship in Lagos, Nigeria have put the tournament "on hold until further notice." The championship was scheduled to begin Tuesday, but organizers "have been forced to postpone it" (NIGERIAN BULLETIN, 8/12). ... Rugby Football League side Widnes has reported an "overwhelming" response from "supporters to their appeal for information following Sunday's violent pitch invasion" at the Tetley's Challenge Cup semifinal. A number of supporters "stormed on to the field immediately after the Vikings lost 28-6 to Castleford" at Leigh Sports Village and approached rival supporters in a "provocative manner." Castleford fans "appeared not to respond but violence did break out as police and stewards attempted to restore order" (London TELEGRAPH, 8/11). ... The Int'l Tennis Federation said that Ukraine will not host Belgium for Davis Cup matches scheduled for September "because of political unrest in the country." The Belgian Tennis Federation had "appealed the tournament committee's decision last week to hold the matches in Kiev Sept. 12-14." The appeal was upheld. The Davis Cup committee "also upheld the decision not to hold the matches between Israel and Argentina in Tel Aviv on the same dates" (BLOOMBERG, 8/12).