Football Notes: Brazil Guarantees Manaus World Cup Venue Will Be On Time
Brazilian officials "have guaranteed the Arena da Amazonica World Cup stadium will be ready in time for December's deadline" set by FIFA. Construction work on the venue in Manaus is currently 68% complete, "the least advanced of Brazil's 12 World Cup venues" (XINHUA, 7/27). ... South Korea's "strained football relations with Japan have been damaged further" after a banner unfurled by the home team's fans in Seoul on Sunday during a regional tournament "stoked political tension between the two." Fans at the East Asian Cup game at Jamsil Stadium unfurled a massive banner that read: "A nation that forgets its history has no future" in an apparent reference to what many South Koreans see as Japan's unwillingness to acknowledge its wartime and colonial excesses (REUTERS, 7/29). ... The domestic election crisis that is understood to have prevented acting Thai Football Federation President and FIFA Exec Committee member Worawi Makudi from attending the recent Asian Football Confederation exec meeting "has taken yet another twist." Makudi, whose tenure officially ended in mid-June, "is battling to hold on to his power base at home," but the Local Administration Department has "made it clear that the new regulations he and his supporters want to put in place could be in violation of the national law" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 7/29). ... Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out will launch a new mobile phone tool for fans and players to report racist or homophobic abuse. The season-long campaign marks Kick It Out's 20th anniversary (PA, 7/29). ... Serie A side Napoli canceled Monday’s scheduled "celebration" due to the bus crash which has killed at least 37 people near Irpinia (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 7/29).