They may not yet have a team capable of winning the World Cup, but that didn't stop soccer-mad Asians getting into the swing of this year's tournament.
Although the yawning time difference with Berlin, where the final between France and Italy was held, forced Asians to watch live broadcasts at unearthly hours yesterday morning, millions of fans throughout the region still avidly tuned in on television.
They packed shopping malls, bars and anywhere else that a public screen could be erected not only for the final but for every match in the month-long championships.
In Australia, where almost 1 million people trace their ancestry back to Italy, tens of thousands of fans braved the winter chill to watch the game at huge outdoor screens in major cities.
Flares, fireworks and screams of joy erupted from an estimated 10,000 fans in Sydney's Italian heartland of Norton Street when Italy slotted home the winning penalty.
"It doesn't get any better than this," yelled Victor Arcuri atop a car painted in the red, white and green of the Italian flag.
He invited everyone back to his pizza shop, telling them: "Let's all call in sick today."
Of all the Asian teams in the month-long tournament, Australia went furthest, reaching the second round. It was only the second time the nation had qualified.
Japan and South Korea, joint hosts of the 2002 tournament, were eliminated in the first round.
Italy put Australia out of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory and Australian Prime Minister John Howard noted that the fact the Azzurri had gone on to win the tournament showed how well the Socceroos had performed.
"I congratulate Italy," he said.
"I'm sure there'll be a lot of Australians of Italian descent -- now that Australia's out of it -- their second choice would have been Italy and I'm sure they're very happy," Howard said.
Hong Kongers' love of soccer is evident from the popularity of European team shirts in the former British colony. During the World Cup, however, they took their devotion to another level, as hundreds of thousands gathered at public screenings of matches.
‘ON A MISSION’: A’ja Wilson was awarded the tournament’s Most Valuable Player title after scoring 19 points to help her team earn the biggest win in a gold-medal game A’ja Wilson scored 19 points, Kelsey Plum added 17 and the US beat China 83-61 yesterday to win their fourth consecutive gold medal at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. This is one of the most dominant teams in the US’ storied history in the World Cup, at which the Americans have won 11 gold medals. They have now won four straight gold medals for the first time ever. This was also the biggest win in a gold-medal game, surpassing the 20-point wins that the US had twice accomplished. “It feels great,” said Wilson, who was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable
Ninad Malwade backed up his innings of 47 not out with two late wickets, helping Taipei-based PCCT defeat Formosa in the final of the T10 Annual Taiwan Cricket tournament at Taipei’s Yingfeng Cricket Ground yesterday. Formosa’s Anthony Liu hit 50 in the reply, but rued a lack of runs at the start of their innings that left his side seven runs shy of the win. In the fifth over, Liu turned the game around after the first four overs had yielded only 26 runs. He hit a lookaway hook shot into the square-leg fence on his first ball from Usman Javed and
Denmark are to wear a “toned down” kit at this year’s FIFA World Cup in protest at Qatar’s human rights record, sportswear maker Hummel said on Wednesday. Qatar’s organizing committee accused Hummel of “trivializing” the country’s efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers and called on the Danish Football Union (DBU) to intervene. The logo of the Danish sportswear brand and the Danish national badge are barely visible on the shirts the company designed for the World Cup, which is to start on Nov. 20. Several competing nations and rights groups have criticized Qatar’s rights record and FIFA for allowing the event to
CRICKET Malwade blazes in Taipei Ninad Malwade blazed a 21-ball 47 as the Taipei-based PCCT hammered the Hsinchu Titans by 43 runs at the T10 Annual Taiwan Cricket tournament at Taipei’s Yingfeng Cricket Ground yesterday. PCCT had already qualified for today’s semi-finals, but were not to be denied an undefeated run through their four matches in Group B. Today they are to play the Taipei Indians, who yesterday beat Super 11 to deny the Taipei-based side that semi-final spot. In the first match yesterday, the Raging Bulls beat the Titans by 35 runs to seal second place in Group B and a