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SBD Global/December 5, 2013/International Football
Brazil Continues To Wonder If World Cup Infrastructure Will Be Ready
Published December 5, 2013
STADIUM 'A MESS': In London, Owen Gibson reported "there is a question mark" over the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba. FIFA sources said the situation in Curitiba was "a mess" and suggested that it could be March or later before the stadium, which is due to stage four matches and will seat 41,456, "will be ready." That will leave organizers with "little time to install facilities and could force them to put in temporary toilets and food outlets." With the draw on Friday and tickets on sale, insiders admit there is "no plan B" but insist that they "will not compromise on security" (GUARDIAN, 12/4).
DUTCH UPSET: XINHUA reported the Dutch football association KNVB "wants an explanation" from FIFA for "changing the procedure for the World Cup draw." KNVB Dir Bert van Oostveen "was surprised by the announced procedure" (XINHUA, 12/4).
WATER BREAK: REUTERS' Eleanor Biles reported Italy coach Cesare Prandelli "has called for the introduction of drink breaks" during the World Cup finals in Brazil to "counter the debilitating effects of heat and humidity at venues in the tropical northeast." FIFA has "already rejected calls to reconsider its decision to schedule noon kick-offs." However, there "remains widespread concern" that teams playing in the northeastern cities of Fortaleza, Natal, Salvador and Recife "will be subjected to punishing conditions," with temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius (REUTERS, 12/4).
QATAR ON HAND: THE NATIONAL's Gary Meenaghan reported a small group of representatives from Qatar are in Brazil, "at a lavish retreat" 90km from Salvador, to observe this weekend’s World Cup finals draw and to "take back to Doha vital knowledge required to host its own football showpiece in eight more years" (THE NATIONAL, 12/4).
CALL FOR UNITY: INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw wrote the prospect of football re-unification between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, an item on the agenda at the two-day FIFA exec committee meeting, "has received another timely boost." All 42 clubs belonging to the Cyprus Turkish FA in the north of the island have "unanimously approved the historic arrangement signed by the two sides at FIFA headquarters last month" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 12/4).