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Volume 10 No. 23

Facilities

Local Organizing Committee CEO Ricardo Trade said that Brazil "is hoping next year's World Cup will help the country move away from its standard practice of using riot police to keep order inside stadiums," according to Iain Rogers of REUTERS. As host, Brazil "is obliged by FIFA rules to use stewards to keep fans under control, with police on standby in case of serious trouble," and Trade said that the South American nation "was pushing to make this a permanent change." Trade said, "We want to have stewards inside the stadium as other countries are doing. It's obligatory to do this at the World Cup and maybe we could keep this system afterwards. The police will be there inside the stadium, but not with a thousand men." Trade said that his committee was working with the Brazilian football federation (CBF) and the government "to create a new profession of stadium stewards that would allow police to focus on maintaining order outside" (REUTERS, 4/5).

ManU has "appointed an acoustic engineer in a bid to up the decibel levels from home supporters inside Old Trafford," according to Simon Rice of the London INDEPENDENT. Following "complaints from supporters in the Stretford End that they felt their singing was not being heard around the rest of the stadium," the Premier League leader has made the appointment in a bid to improve the acoustics in the 75,000 capacity stadium (INDEPENDENT, 4/5). In Manchester, Mike Keegan reported "the expert attended the Liverpool match in January and will monitor noise levels at another game before the season concludes." The "findings will then be presented" to the club’s top brass who will decide what action to take. A ManU source said: "There were supporters in the Stretford End who thought they had made a lot of noise only for friends in different parts of the ground to say they couldn’t hear them." The club "would not say how much they are paying the specialist" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 4/5).

SING-A-LONG: In London, James Riach reported ManU, which will play rivals Man City in the league on Monday, "had previously attempted to set up a dedicated singing section inside the stadium but those plans have been abandoned." Despite being the largest Premier League ground, Old Trafford "has often been lambasted for having a poor atmosphere and the recent complaints came from fans in the more vocal Stretford End" (GUARDIAN, 4/5). The BBC reported one fan group said a "safe-standing" area would fix the issue. An Independent Manchester United Supporters Association spokesperson said that such areas would allow those who wanted to stand to do so and as a result "would improve the level of singing and chanting." He said: "For many, many years now, fans have been told to sit down, shut up and take what they are given. Well now they are sat down, and they have shut up -- and the club don't like it. Fans are allowed to stand at moments of high excitement [but] when they are forced to sit -- as they often are at Old Trafford -- they make less noise." He added the club also needed to "turn the music off before games to give fans a chance to make some noise themselves" (BBC, 4/5).

Indonesian Youth & Sports Minister Roy Suryo "has urged the Bali administration to develop an international-class stadium to replace the province’s rundown 13-year-old sports arena," according to Made Arya Kencana of the JAKARTA GLOBE. Construction of the stadium, "which is supposed to accommodate 25,000 people, kicked off 13 years ago but it still has not been completed." The unfinished stadium has instead "been used as the home base for the Bali Devata football club since it joined the Indonesian Premier League in 2011." Suryo said that he would "soon travel to the United Kingdom to lobby for Manchester United to open a football academy, and that he hoped Indonesia, including Bali, could be prepared with decent stadiums and supporting facilities" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 4/7).