Jordan invests in aXiomatic
NBA icon Michael Jordan is branching out into e-sports, investing in the parent company of Team Liquid, aXiomatic. Jordan was one of two new investors announced on Thursday by aXiomatic, along with Declaration Capital, the family office of Washington-based billionaire David Rubenstein. According to Forbes, the investments were part of a US$26 million funding round. “I’m excited to expand my sports equity portfolio through my investment in aXiomatic. E-sports is a fast-growing, international industry and I’m glad to partner with this great group of investors,” said Jordan, who joined his fellow Dream Team teammate Magic Johnson as an aXiomatic investor, as is Ted Leonsis, owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL champions Washington Capitals. “The next generation of sports fans are e-sports fans,” Leonsis told ESPN in a statement. In 2016, aXiomatic acquired a majority stake in Team Liquid, one of the oldest and most popular teams in e-sports with more than 60 competitive gamers based out of Los Angeles and the Netherlands.
Official fired over failed call
An NFL official has been fired for poor performance. Down judge Hugo Cruz was on the officiating crew in Week 6 when the Los Angeles Chargers played the Browns in Cleveland. Cruz failed to call a false start on Chargers left tackle Russell Okung, and while the Browns’ defenders expected the play to be whistled dead, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Williams. According to FootballZebras.com, he is the first official fired during the season for performance issues in the Super Bowl era.
Late substitute ban mulled
The International Football Association Board is keen to clamp down on time-wasting tactics, with a ban on injury-time substitutions one of the areas being considered to increase actual playing time, the Times reported yesterday. The board has observed that changes are being made after 90 minutes in one-quarter of English Premier League matches. “A rule to say there should be no substitutions during added-on time is an interesting one and could work well. Referees add on 30 seconds for a substitution, but in practice it can eat up a lot more time than that,” it said. The average playing time for a Premier League match is 55 minutes, 9 seconds this season, while Cardiff City’s clash against Burnley saw just more than 42 minutes of game time.
Women’s prize to double
FIFA president Gianni Infantino understands why female players are unhappy about the lack of gender equality in World Cup prize money, but on Thursday said that doubling the cash for finalists to US$30 million represents significant progress. Ahead of the FIFA Council yesterday ratifying the financial package for next year’s Women’s World Cup, players’ unions in Australia, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand wrote to FIFA to raise concerns about why there is vastly more cash set aside for the men’s tournament. France earned US$38 million for winning the men’s World Cup in July. A person with knowledge of the figures said the women’s champions next year are to earn US$4 million, which is twice the amount collected by the Americans in 2015.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path