Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg backed Birmingham's decision to "drop shooting from the 2022 Games," according to the BBC. Grevemberg confirmed on Friday that shooting -- "an optional sport for host cities" -- would not be featured. Shooting has been contested at every CWG since Kingston 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh 1970. Almost 30,000 people "have signed a Shooting Times petition asking the CGF to reconsider the decision." Each host city of the Games "must include a minimum 16 core sports" from the CGF's program but can "then pick additional sports from an optional list." Birmingham announced it will be "staging basketball, judo, gymnastics, table tennis and wrestling from the optional list." It is expected to "also add archery, track cycling and women's T20 cricket" to the program. England will field a squad of 20 shooters at this year's CWG on Australia's Gold Coast (BBC, 1/19).
Events and Attractions
Rafael Nadal "joined calls for a review into the heat policy of the Australian Open after several players complained about the extreme heat in Melbourne." Nadal expressed his concern that the heat "is not safe for the players' health." He said, "Sometimes is too much and can become little bit dangerous for health. That's the real thing. It's not nice to see players suffering that much on court" (ESPN.com, 1/19).
Wales and Scotland "will make history" by facing each other in an autumn rugby test in '18. The Celtic nations "usually only face each other in the annual Six Nations and host autumn Tests against touring teams." They have played each other "only once before outside a tournament -- a 2003 World Cup warm-up Wales won 23-9." Scotland will visit Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Nov. 3 (BBC, 1/19).
Canadian F1 promoter Francois Dumontier "is totally opposed to reported plans" that Liberty Media "is about to call for an end to Friday practice sessions." He said, "Fans come to Montreal in large numbers on Fridays. I cannot imagine the Canadian Grand Prix over just two days. This is also the case in Australia and a few other places" (AUTOWEEK, 1/18).
The Hamburg District Court issued a preliminary injunction against Switzerland-based viagogo, banning the company from offering tickets for the 2018 World Cup via its viagogo.de online ticket marketplace prior to FIFA officially allocating such tickets and/or to viagogo physically possessing them. Any violation of the injunction by the company would be punishable by a fine of up to €250,000 ($306,000) or imprisonment for up to six months (FIFA).