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Volume 10 No. 23


A-League side Melbourne City player Tim Cahill's newest teammate, Marcus Gomes, will not "set foot" on a pitch but will instead represent the club at a different World Cup -- a world cup for video gamers, according to Anthony Colangelo of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Melbourne City "joined the growing list" of Australian sporting organizations to enter the esports industry by signing Gomes, a Melbourne-based FIFA esports player. Gomes, 20, signed ahead of his trip to London to play in the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final (Aug. 16-18). He will "represent Melbourne City at the event as the only Australian player in the 32-competitor field." Gomes said, "I started playing FIFA 2006 when I was nine, and I never could have imagined that the game would be where it is today, or that I would be signing a professional esports contract with a club like Melbourne City." Club CEO Scott Munn said that the signing was "crucial" for the club to connect with its younger fans. Munn: "With 16 million people playing FIFA worldwide, and the competitive FIFA scene taking shape, it is the right time for Melbourne City to move into esports." Melbourne City owner City Football Group's charter only allows its football clubs to "take part and invest" in football-based activities and the FIFA video game qualifies under this rule. Australian Football League side Greater Western Sydney Giants is "looking to buy" an esports team while the West Coast Eagles are "also rumoured to want in" on the esports industry. In the National Rugby League, the New Zealand Warriors have "long been interested" in esports (SMH, 8/15). 

La Liga side Girona is "facing the possibility of being barred from European competition next season" if it is bought by Man City's parent company, according to Paul Hirst of the LONDON TIMES. After "months of talks," City Football Group, which owns Man City, is "expected to announce in the coming days that it has acquired a large stake in Girona," which was promoted to the Spanish top flight last season. Media Base Sports, an agency run by Pere Guardiola, also has a "large stake" in Girona. CFG's planned takeover of Girona is "not illegal, but it would have ramifications" for Man City and the Spanish club "if they qualify for European competition" (LONDON TIMES, 8/15). In London, James Ducker reported UEFA rules prohibit two teams that share the same owner from competing in European competition, which means CFG "could be presented with a serious dilemma" if Girona and Man City qualify for Europe. In an effort to "ensure the integrity" of UEFA club competitions, European football's governing body "would only permit one of those teams to compete in Europe under current regulations." Girona "will become the sixth club in the CFG stable" after Man City, MLS side NYCFC, A-League side Melbourne City FC, J.League club Yokohama F. Marinos and Uruguayan second division side Club Atlético Torque (TELEGRAPH, 8/14).

McLaren launched a "light-hearted plan" for a Formula 1 grand prix on the streets of its hometown of Woking. McLaren joked that its "absurdly ambitious plan" would enable Woking "to join the ranks of Monaco and Singapore as one of Formula 1's most glamorous and iconic race locations." The plan includes "an 18-turn track of just over three miles" -- named the Woking Int'l Circuit (AUTOSPORT, 8/15).

League Two side Newport County will receive "the normal share of gate income" from its EFL Cup tie at League Championship side Leeds United. Newport County could have received less after being drawn "at home" to Leeds, but requested to play away due to pitch refurbishments at Rodney Parade. Leeds United agreed to honor "sharing 45% of the gate income, less costs, as normal" (BBC, 8/15).