Wed, Jun 04, 2014 - Page 18 News List

SOCCER SHORTS

Agencies

SOUTH KOREA

Chelsea boss to tout casino

Casino operator Paradise Co has hired Jose Mourinho, the outspoken manager of English giants Chelsea, as the face of its new advertising campaign to lure punters from China, where the sport is increasingly popular. Paradise is teaming up with Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings Inc to build a US$1.7 billion casino resort in the coastal city of Incheon, near the country’s main international airport, with construction to be completed in 2017. It faces steep competition from operators like Genting Singapore PLC and Caesars Entertainment Corp, which are moving to build their own tourist-focused resorts in South Korea, where all but one of the existing 17 casinos are open only to foreigners. Paradise hopes Mourinho, a manager with a string of accomplishments that includes the UEFA Champions League titles in 2004 and 2010, will now kick goals for the casino and win over Chinese customers. It expects the Incheon resort to attract 160,000 visitors a day, of which two-thirds are likely to be Chinese. “The growing interest in football in China, and the fact that a significant number of casino customers are Chinese, was the main reason behind naming Mourinho as the model,” Paradise said in a statement.

WORLD CUP

Pandas to predict scores

A crack team of baby pandas are to be used to predict World Cup scores in China, according to reports, in a homegrown answer to deceased soccer soothsayer Paul the Octopus. The cuddly creatures are to predict match winners by picking food from a choice of baskets and climbing trees at China’s flagship panda breeding base in the southwestern province of Sichuan, the Xinhua news agency said on Monday. China hopes the bears will be odds-on to match the worldwide fame achieved by Paul, the German octopus who correctly predicted the results of several 2010 World Cup games using its tentacles. During the group stages, pandas aged between one and two years old are to select food from three bamboo baskets representing either a win, loss or draw, Xinhua said. For the knock-out rounds, the animals will select winners by climbing trees marked with the national flags of competing nations, it added. However, they will have to go a long way to beat Paul the tentacled oracle, who successfully predicted the outcome of eight matches by choosing a mussel or oyster from one of two boxes bearing the flags of competing nations. He died in 2010.

NIGERIA

Arrest made in bombing

The military on Monday said it had made an arrest in connection with a bombing at a soccer game on Sunday that killed at least 40 people. “A key suspect in the terror bomb explosion that rocked Kabang community in Mubi, Adamawa state... has been arrested by troops who cordoned [off] the area in swift response to the explosion,” Ministry of Defense spokesman Chris Olukolade told reporters. The apparent target was fans trying to leave the field after watching a local club match.

MEXICO

Gunmen kill three

Gunmen killed three people when they opened fire on fans at a soccer game in the troubled western state of Michoacan, authorities said on Monday. Three more people, including a 13-year-old boy, were wounded in Sunday’s attack during the final of a local league tournament in the town of Paracho, the state prosecutors’ office said. The unknown assailants fled the scene and nobody has been detained so far.

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