League Championship side Queens Park Rangers "confirmed they are in talks over building a new 40,000 all-seater stadium as part of a massive redevelopment scheme at Old Oak Common," according to Simon Johnson of the London EVENING STANDARD. The club has "made finding a new ground a priority since owner Tony Fernandes took over two years ago." Old Oak Common, which is close to Loftus Road, "has been identified as a potential site for some time with 100 acres of land available earmarked for a huge building scheme." Loftus Road’s capacity is just 18,439 and the hierarchy "know that a bigger venue is vital to progress" (EVENING STANDARD, 8/21). In London, Charles Sale reported QPR "are advanced enough in negotiations with Hammersmith and Fulham council and the Greater London Authority for a memorandum of understanding to have been drawn up." The stadium will be part of a "massive" £10B ($15.7B) Canary Wharf-style development that will include office space and 19,000 homes. The proposals are said to require a £200M ($313M) contribution from QPR, who have the backing of Fernandes and the Mittal steel family, "one of the richest" in the U.K. (DAILY MAIL, 8/20).
The Int'l Trade Union Confederation said on Tuesday that it would "pressure international construction companies behind World Cup infrastructure in Qatar into respecting worker rights in what they described as a 'slave state,'" according to the AFP. ITUC Secretary General Sharan Burrow said that the umbrella group was "watching as European, US and Brazilian companies compete for work in the Gulf emirate." Sharan added that a contract for "metro tunneling and construction has already been awarded to Italian building group Impregilo and local Italian unions will be contacting the company." FIFA said that it is consulting with int'l labor groups on "conditions in Qatar, while the desert state has promised reforms to its labor laws to offer greater protection to workers" (AFP, 8/22).
FIFA Secretary General Jérome Valcke has visited Manaus, Brazil, one of the stadiums that will be a host site for the 2014 World Cup, and received "guarantees that the stadium will be ready by Dec. 20." Brazil's Amazonas Governor Omar Aziz "confirmed the required completion date and highlighted that there will be a local match between Rio Negro and Nacional to test the facilities in early January." Construction of the stadium "is almost 80% complete." For the World Cup, FIFA said that "it will not tolerate delays in the completion of the stadiums" (EP, 8/21). ... Australian politician Tony Abbott has "upstaged" former Australian PM Kevin Rudd on "his home turf," handing over A$5M ($4.5M) to help upgrade National Rugby League side Brisbane Broncos' facilities and grounds ahead of Wednesday's "crucial nationally televised debate." While Rudd is the club's No. 1 ticket holder, Abbott has "swooped in to pledge the money towards new training facilities for the Broncos as well as green space for the community and the construction of a sports medical centre" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/21).