A look into attendance figures from across Europe shows that English football fans "remain more committed than most when it comes to going to European fixtures," according to Alistair Tweedale of the London TELEGRAPH. Tottenham managed to sell more than 80,000 tickets for its Europa League match against Belgian side Gent last season, while Emirates Stadium was "almost full" for Arsenal's match against Bundesliga club Cologne. ManU averaged 67,722 people at Old Trafford over seven home games on its run to the Europa League title last season, and fans have been "turning out in decent numbers at all Champions League games both this season and last." On average, English clubs see around a 6% drop in attendance figures for European games compared to Premier League matches. Italy, France and Germany, meanwhile, see an "even greater fall in attendances at their clubs' European fixtures." Serie A matches have attracted 36.5% more fans than matches in Europe this season. AC Milan supporters "obviously think the Europa League is below their great club." Attendances of 23,917 and 20,812 at an 80,000-seat San Siro in the club's two home games so far this season "speak volumes." This is "not a one-off." It was also an issue last season in Italy, where European matches drew 30.9% fewer fans than Serie A games (TELEGRAPH, 10/20).
Events and Attractions
The KB Financial Star Championship, one of the KLPGA's five major events, "suffered a tarnished image over a couple of critical blunders." The tournament was "mired in controversy over the organizer's unprofessional operation." On Sunday, 12 players, including Kim Ji-hyun and Park Shin-young, "quit the tournament as the second round was stopped at sunset on Saturday and resumed on Sunday" (YONHAP, 10/22).
English squash player Emily Whitlock refused to enter next month’s Professional Squash Association Women’s Masters in Saudi Arabia, citing her “moral standards” regarding the treatment of women in the country and the fact that men are not allowed into the venue to watch the event (LONDON TIMES, 10/20).
For the first time at the Iditarod, several of the animals tested positive for a prohibited drug. Race officials have "refused to name the musher involved." Several dogs tested positive for opioid pain reliever Tramadol, the governing board of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said in a statement (AP, 10/19).
The Asian Football Confederation confirmed Malaysia will play its AFC Asian Cup qualifying matches against North Korea on neutral territory. Malaysia's three-time rescheduled game in Pyongyang will now take place on Nov. 10 "at a yet-to-be-announced neutral venue." The same stadium will host Malaysia's "home" match against the North Koreans on Nov. 13 (ESPN.com, 10/20).