Friday, May 14, 2010

Asian Football news briefs

FIFA World Cup

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa only one month away, 11 countries are looking further ahead to hosting the 2018 or 2022 events.

Europe is expected to win the 2018 hosting rights with England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium in the running.

The USA and Australia are bidding for 2018 but also join Qatar, South Korea and Japan for 2022.

The bid books are interesting. Reportedly the USA's runs to 6,250 pages, England's 1,752 pages, Russia's 1,100 pages, Australia's 760 pages (bound in kangaroo leather) and South Korea estimates its documentation weighs in at 250 kg!


AFC Asian Cup

Final bids for the Asian Football Confederation's 2015 Asian Cup must be submitted by June with a final decision scheduled for 30 July.

Remarkably the only country to so far nominate, Australia, has has yet to finalise its bid and is still negotiating with three state governments for financial contributions.

One wonders about the fate of Asia's most prestigious tournament if Football Federation Australia cannot secure government and stadia support!


Australian Government Warnings

Australia's foreign ministry has updated its official travelling warnings about threats to Australian tourists going to major international sports events.

Australians attending the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, this year are now warned: “You should take care on public transport and when crossing the road.”

Those attending the FIFA World Cup should note that "the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in South Africa is very high" and "exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.”

The appropriate precautions are not described but may or may not include taking a shower.

Current South African president, Jacob Zuma, confessed about a casual affair sometimes back and admitted: “I didn't use a condom because I didn't have one handy and I took a shower to minimize the risk of contracting the disease.''

Mr Zuma is a former head of the South African HIV/AIDS program.


Speculation on Chinese bid for Liverpool

Media in Britain and China are reporting that Zhu Jun, owner of China Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, is putting together a consortium to purchase English Premier League club Liverpool from its American owners.

Mr Zhu, chairman of the online game company The9 Limited, has held two preliminary meetings with Barclays Capital, the investment bank hired to handle the sale.

He actually played for his club against Liverpool in 2007 in Rotterdam. He wore Shenhua's number 16 shirt and played under a pseudonym for five minutes.


International clubs stream to region

They may be without international stars on duty at the World Cup, but five fancied football clubs are expected to play friendlies in Asian Football Confederation member, Australia, this coming July.

EPL club Everton is confirmed for a three-game tour against A-League clubs Sydney FC (10/7), Melbourne Hearts (14/7) and Brisbane Roar (17/7) and will feature captain Phil Neville, Mikel Arteta, Louis Saha, Sylvain Distin and Jack Rodwel.

Tim Cahill will also appear for the Blues if the Socceroos drop out of the World Cup. More details at http://www.evertondownunder.com/

Separately, Sydney FC is reportedly about to announce it will also host a high-profile friendly tournament in July. Four clubs have consented to their involvement with Sydney - Rangers, Boca Juniors and Blackburn Rovers - after Rangers pulled out of a proposed friendly clash against Celtic in Boston, USA.

Media reports from South Korea suggest that AS Monaco of France will play friendlies with FC Seoul and one provincial-based K-League club between July 8 and 11. Monaco stands at eighth in the Ligue 1 standings, missing out on a European Champions League berth.

Korean international Park Chu-young would play with Monaco on the trip.

Spain's Real Madrid is also reportedly visiting South Korea in August and may be joined by rival Barcelona, Europa League winner Atletico Madrid, which has Korean carmaker Kia as its main sponsor, is also considering a tour.


Indonesian may buy A-League's North Queensland Fury

Online gambling magnate, Putra Sampoerna, is still in the running to buy the A-League's Townsville-based franchise, North Queensland Fury although negotiations with Football Federation Australia may take months.

The wealthy Indonesian sold his family’s tobacco company in 2005 for $3 billion. Going from one 'vice' to another, he established Mansion, an online casino, which has been the shirt sponsor for Tottenham Hotspurs for the past few years.

Subramaniam Rasamanickam, the Malaysian-based football consultant for the Singapore-based consortium representing Mansion, has already mapped out his clients' intentions to come in as majority shareholders of the A-League club by pumping in $8 million over three years.

Listen to Asian football briefs every Friday morning on Radio Australia International: www.radioaustralia.net.au/waystolisten/singapore.htm

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