Football Notes: Officials Say Sao Paulo's World Cup Stadium Is 97% Done
Officials said that the venue that will stage the opening World Cup game in Brazil in June "is almost complete," even though "work has not restarted on the collapsed roof that killed two workers in November." Former Corinthians President Andres Sanchez said, "The stadium is 97 percent ready. We have some things pending because of the accident but we've got the all-clear and by the end of the month they will remove the damaged piece. We will hand the stadium over by April 15" (REUTERS, 1/21). ... Serbian former Levski Sofia head coach Slavisa Jokanovic "has threatened to sue the Bulgarian club for unpaid wages." Jokanovic "gave an extensive interview for Bulgarian TV Channel 3," in which he revealed that Levski "owes him" about €100,000 ($136,000) in severance payments. The sum "should have been paid" before Jan. 15, but so far "he has not received anything" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 1/21). ... Daily shootouts and recent police slayings of two alleged drug traffickers "are rattling two of Rio de Janeiro's most prominent slums, communities that until recently showcased attempts to pacify historically violent shantytowns." Just five months before Rio welcomes visitors for the football World Cup, and two years before it hosts the Olympics, the communities of Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo "are bracing for what residents and richer neighbors fear is the return of a decades-old turf war between armed drug gangs and police" (REUTERS, 1/21). ... Brazilian team Portuguesa said that it "contacted prosecutors" after claiming the country’s football ruling body "offered the club a financial inducement to drop legal proceedings against demotion to the second tier" (BLOOMBERG, 1/21). ... Chelsea "launched its football school in Jakarta on Saturday, expecting it can give Indonesian children an opportunity to play the Chelsea way" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 1/20).