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Volume 6 No. 212

Events and Attractions

Indonesia "could be in the running to host the 2019 Asian Games after Vietnam earlier stepped down as host," according to Ami Afriatni of the JAKARTA GLOBE. This comes in the wake of a three-day visit by a delegation from the Olympic Council of Asia, led by VP Wei Jizhong, to Jakarta, Bandung, West Java, and Palembang, South Sumatra, "to evaluate the cities’ potential to replace Vietnam." Wei said, "Jakarta meets all the Asian Games technical requirements, from sports facilities, exhibition centers and hotels." From his assessment, Jakarta "may not be the only city to host the multi-sport event as the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) has offered venues located in three cities." Unfortunately, Palembang "is out of the running as it does not have sufficient sports facilities" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 5/9).

Brazil has "completed its biggest infrastructure project for the World Cup with only 32 days to spare, opening the country’s long-awaited new international airport terminal in São Paulo," according to Samantha Pearson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. In "defiance of critics who said it would not be ready in time, the consortium running the São Paulo Guarulhos airport started operating the glass and steel complex on Sunday" that will eventually handle "all international flights to Latin America’s biggest city." The inauguration will "help relieve pressure on Brazil’s government, which has faced growing criticism" from FIFA over the country's "lack of preparation for the tournament" (FT, 5/11).

WORKER ELECTROCUTED: The BBC reported a "worker has been killed after being electrocuted at a World Cup stadium in Brazil." The 32-year-old man "died in an accident at the new Arena Pantanal in the western city of Cuiaba where he was installing communications equipment." It is the first fatality at the Cuiaba stadium, "but eight workers have now died in accidents during the building of Brazil's 12 World Cup arenas" (BBC, 5/8).

TROOPS DEPLOYED: REUTERS' Anthony Boadle reported Brazil "began deploying 30,000 troops on Saturday to patrol its borders and beef up security for the World Cup." The army, navy and air force troops will use "river patrol boats, helicopters and planes to crack down on drug trafficking and other smuggling activities" on Brazil's 16,900-km (10,500-mile) frontier with 10 South American nations. Much of the border is "Amazon jungle that is hard to patrol and notoriously porous, allowing undocumented immigrants easy access to the country" (REUTERS, 5/10).

The European Tour "suffered condemnation from its own membership" after the final round of the Madeira Islands Open on Sunday "was allowed to continue despite the death of a caddie," according to Ewan Murray of the London GUARDIAN. Caddie Iain McGregor, who was working for Scot Alastair Forsyth, "collapsed on the 9th fairway with a suspected heart attack and died a short time later." Following a suspension in play and discussion with both players and caddies, the Tour resumed the final round of the competition. It "seemed an insensitive move, as others were quick to recognise." Golfer Mikko Ilonen posted on Twitter, "Call it off NOW European Tour. Have some respect please." Jean-Baptiste Gonnet "continued on this theme." Gonnet: "Can't believe there are still playing in Madeira. There is no respect anymore. How you can even walk on the 9th fairway?" (GUARDIAN, 5/11). In London, Rick Broadbent reported a "minute’s silence was held at the clubhouse at the Santo da Serra." McGregor’s popularity "drew plenty of tributes." Gary Player tweeted: “RIP Big Mac. You will be missed. My condolences” (LONDON TIMES, 5/11). In a statement, the European Tour said, "It is with great sadness and deep regret that we report the untimely passing of caddie Iain MacGregor during play on the final day of the Madeira Islands Open - Portugal - BPI. Everyone at The European Tour extends our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Ian at this time. Following consultation with the players and caddies involved, however, it has been decided that play should continue and the tournament should finish" (SKY SPORTS, 5/11).

South Africa has "expressed interest in hosting the 2019 Women's World Cup." FIFA revealed it has "also received declarations of interest from England, France, Korea Republic and New Zealand" (BBC, 5/9). ... FIFA's Club World Cup "could be heading back to the UAE, where it was previously staged" in '09 and '10. UAE officials confirmed "an interest in bidding for the tournament" for '17 and '18, after FIFA announced it received "31 declarations of interest for eight tournaments, including the Club World Cups as well as the 2017 Beach Soccer World Cup" (THE NATIONAL, 5/11).