Bundesliga set for Asia
The Bundesliga will branch into North and Latin American, plus most of Asia, after the German Football League (DFL) signed a 21st Century Fox deal for the 2015-2016 season. The deal means Germany’s top flight is set to be beamed into markets as diverse as the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand, while European countries Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium will show Bundesliga soccer on television in the future. The agreements reached for the Americas and Asia span a total of five seasons, beginning in 2015-2016 and ending with the 2019-2020 campaign. For the European nations, the two parties have agreed on a deal spanning the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 seasons. DFL chief executive Christian Seifert said the deal reflected the German league’s growing popularity after both Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich contested last season’s Champions League final.
Tokyo stadium ‘too big’
A prominent Japanese architect says the spaceship-like main stadium approved for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is too big. Fumihiko Maki says it is overly expensive and would clash with the surroundings. His office says he has the support of 100 other well-known people in Japan. Maki stresses that he is not criticizing the design by award-winning British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid — just the size. The 80,000-seat stadium would dwarf one of Maki’s nearby creations: the 1990 Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The government has already approved the stadium, but construction is not slated to begin until next year. Zaha Hadid Architects director Jim Heverin says the new stadium will fit into an area that is already a mix of styles and structures big and small.
Brazil beat Zambia in China
Neymar hit the bar and set up Brazil’s second goal as next year’s World Cup hosts completed their Asian mini-tour with a 2-0 win over Zambia in Beijing, China, on Tuesday. Goals from Oscar and Dede settled the friendly, held in the distinctive “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium, three days after Brazil beat South Korea by the same margin. Barcelona star Neymar, mercilessly harried before scoring the opener in Seoul, rattled the crossbar with a free-kick as he displayed his full range of skills for the Chinese crowd. Chelsea midfielder Oscar got Brazil’s first with a deflected shot from just outside the box that looped over the goalkeeper and into the corner of the net on 58 minutes. Seven minutes later, Neymar chipped up a free-kick near the left by-line and Cruzeiro defender Dede headed in for 2-0. It was an efficient night’s work for coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s five-time world champions, who could have scored more, despite playing a number of fringe players.
Rose leads Grand Slam
US Open champion Justin Rose shot a four-under 67 on Tuesday for a two-shot lead over Jason Dufner in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Southampton, Bermuda. The 36-hole exhibition is for the four major champions this year. Phil Mickelson, The Open champion, chose not to play and was replaced at Port Royal Golf Course by Padraig Harrington. Rose took the lead from the start despite a wayward tee shot. From the adjacent second fairway, unable to see the green, Rose hit a six-iron from 186 yards within a foot for a birdie. He added three more birdies on the front nine. Rose made two bogeys in the wind on the back nine. Dufner, the PGA champion, had a 69. Masters champion Adam Scott shot 70, while Harrington opened with a 74.