On Saturday at the Olympic Stadium, the W-League will share the Sydney derby "spotlight for the first time," according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The women's match was scheduled as the "curtain raiser" for the biggest match in Australian domestic football and "one of the big nights in Sydney sport." The "rapid rise" of female sport in Australia continues with the prospect of a record crowd for a women's football match and the occasion is "certainly not lost on the players." Sydney FC defender Amy Harrison said, "That gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I've only been a spectator here so it will be nice to actually be on the field and get amongst it. It's crazy. Looking around, I can pick out the seats I've sat in and it's a very different perspective looking up from the ground." Western Sydney Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab "praised" the scheduling of the W-League game alongside the A-League derby, "claiming the men want to share the evening with the female players." The inclusion of two derbies back-to-back is "expected to heighten the rivalry, adding to the tension, drama and spectacle of the event." Santalab said, "It's a great moment for both clubs and women's football to have a derby before our game because women's football is really taking off. It is now where it should have been a long time ago" (SMH, 12/6).
Events and Attractions
Birmingham "may need to wait until next year to find out if it will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games," according to the BBC. The Commonwealth Games Federation said on Wednesday that it is "confident" a city will be chosen in the next four weeks but it "will remain flexible." Birmingham was the "only interested city" before the Sept. 30 deadline but was deemed "not fully compliant." Last week, the CGF said that it had "updates" from Australia, Canada and Malaysia -- but did not confirm any official bids. The body said on Wednesday that it needs "further clarification on a range of issues" before choosing a host city (BBC, 12/6).
The Rugby Football Union will not close bars at Twickenham during England tests "despite disgruntled supporters growing tired of the streams of fans repeatedly getting up from their seats while matches are being played" because sales between kickoff and the full-time whistle account for a "mammoth" 40% of matchday intake (London INDEPENDENT, 12/5).
Esports' Gfinity Elite Series will expand in March '18 as season three "will see the addition" of FIFA 18. The London-based esports tournament already sees 10 organizations compete across Rocket League, Street Fighter Five and CS:GO. But in the FIFA division there "will be even more at stake as the overall winner will be guaranteed a place at the FIFA eWorld Cup" (London DAILY MAIL, 12/6).
The postponed rematch between David Haye and Tony Bellew will "take place on May 5," promoter Eddie Hearn announced. The pair had been due to meet later this month, only for Haye to pull out after injuring his bicep in a “freak accident during a stair conditioning session” (INDEPENDENT, 12/5).
A newly-launched A$1M ($760,000) two-year-old sprint to be run at Caufield from April '19 "is something out of the ordinary, at least for Victoria." The race will be "confined to horses whose sires were based in Victoria at the time of their conception." The race will be called "The Showdown," in honor of "one of the most successful stallions to have stood in the state," a champion Australian stallion of the '70s, and will be restricted to the progeny of VOBIS-nominated stallions (THE AGE, 12/5).