SBD Global/October 5, 2012/International FootballPrint All
The second leg of the Superclasico das Americas between Argentina and Brazil was called off due to "a power failure" at the Estadio Centenario in Resistencia, Argentina, according to OLE. The players came out on the field. Brazilian players "raised their arms. Argentinians "waived to their crowd." The national anthems were played, but the game never started. Half of the floodlights did not work. The players "tried to wait it out, but the situation never improved." The game was to start at 10pm local time, but by 11pm there was no sign of the lights being fixed, and the game was called off. Fans were told through the stadium speakers "that they would get a refund" (OLE, 10/4).
CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM: In Rio de Janeiro, Leandro Canônico reported that the Brazil team bus was blamed "for running over a cable and causing the problem." Both the driver and the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) denied this happened. Then, the match organizers talked about "a generator overload." Later, a video taken by the CBF "showed an energy unit catching fire right before the game." Brazilian goalkeeper Jefferson said, "We waited until the last minute, but the decision to cancel was unanimous. It was not possible to play. They told us the light would be back in five minutes. They didn't. Then they said 20 minutes. Again nothing changed. So we went back to the locker rooms and it was decided there would not be a game." The topic in the locker room once the game was cancelled was when it would be rescheduled, "but this will not happen." There are no more breaks in the calendar, and the CBF "does not want to trouble Brazilian clubs again." The organization's meeting with the Argentinian Football Federation (AFA) next week, "should proclaim Brazil as the champion of the 2012 Superclasico das Americas." Brazil won the first leg 2-1 (GLOBO ESPORTE, 10/4).
FOOTBALL AND POLITICS: In São Paulo, Martin Fernandez reported that CBF Dir Andres Sanchez was not happy with the outcome and blamed it on mixing politics with football. Sanchez said, "Every time they talked to us it was a different excuse. The AFA has to give more thought when they schedule these games, its a question of respect to people that pay for tickets. This is what happens when you mix football with politics." Resistencia was "the personal choice" of Argentina President Cristina Kirchner, "who has close links" with the AFA. She is "also allies" with Chaco (province where Resistencia is located) Governor Jorge Capitanich. Capitanich owns fourth division club Atletico Sarmiento, which plays in the stadium where the game was to be played (FOLHA DE S. PAULO, 10/4). Also in São Paulo, Vinicius Bacelar reported that Brazilian Head Coach Mano Menezes was disappointed the game was called off. Menezes: "There was a lot of preparation leading up to playing a traditional rival. We wanted to play." (FOLHA DE S. PAULO, 10/3).
RSE Ventures, the company founded by Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross and former Jets Exec VP/Business Operations Matt Higgins this year, has expanded into international football by hiring veteran soccer execs Charlie Stillitano and Jon Sheiman from CAA Sports. Additionally, RSE Ventures has acquired the World Football Challenge soccer tournament from CAA. Higgins in a statement said, “International soccer is experiencing a tremendous surge of interest in the United States and RSE plans to be at the forefront of this transformation. The time is right to elevate the platform of the World Football Challenge -- showcasing Sun Life Stadium and other great U.S. venues as premiere destinations for the world’s elite clubs.” RSE Ventures will create a new, international soccer division, with Stillitano serving as CEO and Sheiman as COO. The pair, who have run the WFC since '07, will bring their staff to the new venture.
The National Federation of Professional Football Athletes (FENAPAF) in Brazil, released a statement asking FIFA and the Brazilian authorities organizing the 2014 World Cup "to alter the game times," according to GAZATAESPORTIVA.net. The intention of the organization is to "prevent athletes from suffering with the high temperatures during the games scheduled for 1pm, for example." Last week, FIFA released the six different times (1pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 9pm) at which the games will be played. For the complete union release click here (GAZETAESPORTIVA.net, 10/2).