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Monday, February 05, 2007

Cricket 192, soccer 3

Not the scores but, according to ABC Online, the numbers of people ejected from the cricket and soccer matches played yesterday in Melbourne . About the same number (47-48,000) attended the Australia - NZ ODI at the MCG and the Melbourne Victory - Adelaide United A league semi-final down the road at Docklands Stadium.

Of the cricket ejectees, 21 were turfed out for infringing the recently imposed ban on the Mexican wave. Today's Australian (online at News.com.au ) has a report by Andrew Ramsay illustrated with a graphic photo of an alleged offender/ protester being removed.

Ejections aside, the attendance figures reveal how popular club soccer in Australia is becoming. Sure, the game was the second leg of a semi-final which the local team had to win to proceed to the grand final, but the lure of the sport seems to be increasing despite the conscious (and apparently successful) efforts to develop a national competition with geographical rather than ethnic based teams. The soccer stadium in Adelaide, which not so long ago was refurbished with a lot of government money, holds, I believe, only about 15,000 people. Perhaps big matches could be played at the Adelaide Oval? This would help SACA towards its goal of attracting major sporting events as well as cricket.
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