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.
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.
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.
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.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very