Hong Kong Premier League side Kitchee is understood to be "demanding" more than HK$5M ($639,150) in compensation after being refused its place in the group stages of the 2017 Asian Football Confederation Champions League, according to Chan Kin-wa of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. The Hong Kong champion "confirmed a notice of arbitration had been sent" to fellow HK Premier League club Eastern, Hong Kong’s representative in last year’s tournament; the Hong Kong FA; and HKFA CEO Mark Sutcliffe, although the club "preferred not to disclose further details." Kitchee President Ken Ng Kin said, "We can confirm such a notice ... and the case is in progress." It is understood Kitchee is holding the respondents responsible for its losses as a result of failing to start in the 2017 AFC Champions League group stage and losses suffered for hosting the Lunar New Year Cup of the same year, "which clashed with the qualifying round of the Champions League." The three respondents denied all the claims and the four parties involved have "agreed to appoint a senior counsel as the arbitrator" (SCMP, 2/13).
Events and Attractions
Organizers of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix are "hoping for a vastly improved deal if they are to extend their current contract with Formula 1." Baku has been on the F1 calendar since '16. But after this year's race, negotiations will be held between the two parties, and Azerbaijan Minister of Youth & Sports Azad Rahimov is "seeking better terms before an extended deal is signed" (PLANET F1, 2/13).
The Delhi Golf Course has been asked to postpone or cancel the North India Derby horse race "due to the outbreak of potentially fatal equine glanders' disease," the Delhi High Court was informed on Tuesday. The submission by the Delhi government "assumes significance" as the court had on Monday asked it to deliberate on the issue of canceling the event, slated for Feb. 27, as it would "attract a large audience and the infection could spread among people as well" (PTI, 2/13).
The "much-anticipated" All Blacks showdown with England next November is being billed as the "richest one-off test in rugby history," with "top-priced" Twickenham tickets set to fetch £195 ($270). Premium seats would reportedly cost "more than double" the last All Blacks-England test in London in '14. The Rugby Football Union defended the prices, with a spokesperson saying, "We always have a range of prices at Twickenham, and the top price is typically paid by no more than 10 percent of the fans" (STUFF, 2/13).
Race distances in the MotoGP World Championship will be adjusted from '18, with a two-year transition beginning this season before final changes come into force in '19. This is to ensure that races have a similar duration at each venue on the calendar, enhancing event organization (MotoGP).