Construction workers who helped rebuild Brazil's Maracanã stadium "will play in the first match to be staged there later this month," according to Mike Collett of REUTERS. The first match there is a test game on April 27 when construction workers will join "a team representing two of Brazil's greats" -- Ronaldo and Bebeto. Rio de Janeiro Secretary of State for Sport Andre Lazaroni said, "It is our way of saying thank you to the workers" (REUTERS, 4/11).
Manchester, England is "set to become the nation’s basketball capital" with the creation of the new Belle Vue Sports Village, according to Anthony Jepson of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. The British Basketball League's Manchester Giants are expected to "become tenants at the site's new National Basketball Centre." The city council "gave the go-ahead for the building of the facility as a key part of the Sports Village," which will see "an elite performance centre -- run by governing body England Basketball -- on the site." EB has committed £593,750 ($913,000) to the total cost of £2.8M ($4.3M) for the four-court facility, "which will be used for training and competition -- and will have seating for around 2,500 spectators." A new National Speedway Stadium "will also be built on the site which has been years in planning" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 4/11).
The reintroduction of crowd-control netting at football stadiums was raised at a Premier Soccer League management meeting on Monday "following the weekend's vuvuzela attack debacle," according to Mazola Molefe of SOWETAN LIVE. A pitch invader "attempted to strike referee Lwandile Mfiki with a vuvuzela draped with a Kaizer Chiefs flag during an Absa Premiership clash between Lamontville Golden Arrows and Amakhosi at the Moses Mabhida Stadium" in Durban, South Africa. The league conceded that "its security department had taken a huge knock this season, with the issue of unruly behaviour by Mamelodi Sundowns fans earlier in the season resurfacing." PSL Communications Manager Connie Motshumi said, "We are looking at all remedies of crowd control and curbing pitch invasion during our matches. In our management meeting it was suggested that maybe we should revisit the possibility of (crowd control) fences" (SOWETAN LIVE, 4/10).