Briefs | Football: South Korea says FIFA approached on WC bid with North

South Korea says it was approached by FIFA about bidding along with North Korea for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. FIFA president Gianni Infantino said after a weekend meeting of soccer’s lawmakers that he had “been hearing” about the neighbors combining to bid.

South Korea soccer association general secretary Hong Myung-bo was quoted by the Yonhap news agency as saying “FIFA first approached us and talked about the joint bid.” Hong added that “we’ve notified our government of this issue.” Australia, Colombia, Japan and South Africa have already expressed interest in bidding for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The FIFA Council vote is due in March 2020.

Budapest replaces Los Angeles as host of World Urban Games

Los Angeles will no longer host the first World Urban Games in September after disagreements with organizers about the sports program. The global group of sports governing bodies, known as GAISF, says Budapest has stepped in to host the event from Sept. 13-15. Budapest has also been offered the 2021 edition instead of Los Angeles. The California city, which will stage the 2028 Olympics, was announced as host of the 2021 World Urban Games four months ago. GAISF senior vice president Raffaele Chiulli says organizers “couldn’t agree on a final program” with LA officials, who preferred a street festival event. The World Urban Games competitive program of seven sports includes 3-on-3 basketball, skateboarding and breakdancing.

Rugby: Japan calls up Mafi despite assault charges in New Zealand

Amanaki Mafi, who is facing assault charges in New Zealand, has been called up to Japan’s extended Rugby World Cup training camp. The Japan Rugby Football Union announced the selection yesterday, and said it would reconsider the 29-year-old backrower’s involvement depending on how the legal proceedings progress. Mafi was charged with intent to injure former Melbourne Rebels teammate Lopeti Timani after a Super Rugby game against the Highlanders in Dunedin, New Zealand last July. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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