A round-up of what’s been happening this week (Beckham stuff at the end!):
The NBA announced eight international preseason games for next season. For Asian fans that means Pacers vs Rockets, Manila, Oct 10; Pacers vs Rockets, Taipei, Oct 13; Lakers vs Warriors, Beijing, Oct 15; and Lakers vs Warrior, Shanghai, Oct 18.
Beijing Cream has another take on China’s fairytale victory at the World Baseball Classic, which I wrote about yesterday. This short video is also worth a watch: if you’re outside China, you’ll be amused by the rookie mistake by one of the Chinese players; if you’re inside China, you’ll enjoy the butchered pronunciation.
The IOC’s Evaluation Committee visited Tokyo, the frontrunner to host the 2020 Olympics, this week, and by all accounts were impressed. They’ll also visit Madrid and Istanbul. Elsewhere, it sounds like wrestling may yet survive the Olympic cull, after drawing strong support from the Association of National Olympic Committees.
Two deals of note: Samsung has become an official partner of the Chinese Super League, while the Women’s Tennis Association signed a deal with Chinese sports facility lighting company Megton.
China’s Zhang Jilong, acting head of the Asian Football Confederation, has pulled out the running to be elected the permanent AFC boss on May 2. Thailand’s Worawi Makudi, who says he has locked up the ASEAN support (i.e. 11 of the 46 votes) will square off against candidates from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE, who may end up splitting the Arab vote to Worawi’s advantage. For more – and there is plenty more – John Duerden and Keir Radnedge are your go-to-guys on this.
Barcelona are coming to Asia for three games against as-yet-unconfirmed opponents: Shanghai, Aug 4; Bangkok, Aug 7; and Kuala Lumpur, Aug 10.
An honourable mention goes to Huddersfield Town’s Ajin Abraham for his detailed response, after I’d taken a shot at the club’s plans to explore China (see his comments at the end of this piece).
Beckham’s on-field star took a hit last night when he was an unused substitute as PSG progressed to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League, but his off-field star continues to shine. Too many links to list them all here, but let’s just clear up a few things. As it stands (subject to daily change), David Beckham will:
-visit China in March, May and November, each time for about a week
-be forced to sign an astounding number of autographs for Chinese officials
David Beckham will not:
-get paid $75 million dollars for his troubles (classic, unedited rebuttal from the People’s Daily here)
-watch any CSL games in person – at least not in March, because the league will be on a mini-break when he’s here
Finally, in a nod to just how confusing this whole “ambassadorial” position is, Football Burp discusses new popular beat combo The David Beckham China Role.