Lin’s domain up for grabs
The Chinese domain name bearing the name of New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin — www.linshuhao.com — has been registered in China and has been put up for sale. The Web site quotes Forbes as describing “Lin Shu-hao” as among the fastest-growing brands in the world, currently valued at US$14 million. The brand is weighed the same as that of Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant, both of whom are ranked by Forbes as among the top six athlete brands in the world. A simple English message below the Chinese ad on the Web site states: “This domain name is for sale.” An attempt to contact the registrant was met with the message: “Too many bidders right now. Please state your budget or we won’t reply.” Chinese businessmen have reportedly offered 260,000 yuan (US$41,293) to buy the Chinese domain name, the Chinese news Web site Tiangjinwe.com reported. In light of possible violation by “linshuhao.com” of Lin’s trademark in the US, a Chinese attorney said there was insufficient evidence to support the argument, pointing out that there are many ways to spell Lin’s Chinese name.
Officials target match-fixing
South Korea has declared a “state of emergency” against match-fixing allegations tarnishing a number of domestic sports leagues and has issued a package of measures aimed at tackling sports-related corruption. The allegations that led to the investigation of dozens of players and officials in the domestic soccer league last year have since spread to South Korea’s professional baseball and volleyball competitions. Under a recently revised law on sports promotion, players or coaches who took part in fixing schemes would be sentenced to up to five years in prison or pay up to 50 million won (US$44,500) in fines, Yonhap said. Their teams would also face expulsion from their leagues.
I’m no Djokovic: Azarenka
Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka is pleased with her 17 straight victories so far this season, but the Australian Open champion is not about to compare her winning streak with Novak Djokovic’s all-conquering start to last season just yet. “I am honored to have the comparison because he is a great champion, but I have a lot of work to do to catch up with him,” Azarenka said. Djokovic went 41 matches unbeaten at the start of last season. The Belarussian’s 17th straight victory sealed her first title since replacing Wozniacki at the top of the rankings after winning in Melbourne, Australia.
Libyans cheer sport’s return
Libyan soccer fans of all ages came out to cheer the first international matches played in the North African country since the conflict that ousted former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi amid hope that Monday’s games in Benghazi would be the start of many more to come. CSKA Sofia, the 31-time Bulgarian champions, were the first foreign team to play in Libya after the uprising against Qaddafi’s rule erupted on Feb. 17 last year. Although the “Benina Martyrs” stadium in Benghazi was not full, about 1,000 Libyan men, women and children came to support the two home sides playing, Al Ahli Tripoli and Al Nasr Benghazi. Waving the red, green and black flag of Libya’s new National Transitional Council, as well as those for local teams, the crowd watched three 45-minute games, cheering loudly when the first goal was scored.