World Cup Notes: FIFA Official Urges Racism Sanctions For Teams
FIFA VP Jeffrey Webb said that teams "should be kicked out of the World Cup" if their fans or players commit racist offenses. Webb said that "it must follow" the NBA's lead after L.A. Clippers Owner Donald Sterling "was forced to sell up for making racist remarks." Asked if teams or individuals could be banned, Webb said, "They have to. The NBA set a new standard and I applaud them. ... We must have a zero tolerance." Webb added that "not enough is being done" at a national and regional level following the adoption of tough new rules by FIFA over racism and anti-discrimination in '13. Webb: "We've got to get the national associations and confederations around the world to start implementing [harsher penalties]" (BBC, 6/12). ... A representative study by the University of Hohenheim said that the majority of Germans believe that "the World Cup advertising does have an influence, but the buying intension is low." According to the results of an online survey, "more than three-quarters of Germans believe that the World Cup advertising does have an influence, especially in sports goods and textiles." However, only 5% said that "they are more willing to buy products that lay the emphasis on World Cup themes in the advertising" (XINHUA, 6/12). ... Astronauts in the NASA space station will watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup. U.S. astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson and German astronaut Alexander Gerst "have decided to spread the FIFA fever" to space by watching it live (DECCAN CHRONICLE, 6/12).
WORLD CUP NATIONALISM: They proclaim Marxism on the battlefield "but Colombia's largest rebel group is all nationalism come World Cup time." In a public letter Wednesday to Colombia's national team and its Argentine coach, Jose Pekerman, negotiators for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia said that they hope Colombia's return to the World Cup for the first time since '98 "can help advance peace talks taking place in Cuba for more than 18 months" (AP, 6/11).
ADIDAS DEMONSTRATION: Hundreds of workers formerly employed by adidas in Jakarta "staged a demonstration on Wednesday" demanding adidas and its local contractor pay them severance owed since '12. The demonstrators "expressed their anger at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta," carrying signs denouncing adidas and local footwear producer PT Panarub Dwikarya (PDK). The demonstrators "were part of more than 300 PDK workers who lost their jobs after joining a five-day strike" in '12 (JAKARTA POST, 6/12).
SOCIAL MEDIA MADNESS: FIFA launched its official FIFAWorldCup account on Instagram to share imagery from Brazil and for football supporters across the globe to share their World Cup celebrations on social media. The account will also be promoting #myworldcup, where fans can upload photos showing how they are watching the tournament (FIFA). ... Spanish newspaper AS on Wednesday launched its free "AS Mundial" app for fans to follow the World Cup, with more than 50,000 downloading it "within hours of its launch." The app provides fans with "information about participating players and coaches, including a search feature and a schedule of the games, and it will also serve as an encyclopedia of World Cup history" (AS, 6/11).
ON VACATION: Throughout the World Cup, which will run until July 13, 45 million students at Brazilian public schools "will be on vacation to celebrate the football party." This is "because FIFA said so and nobody can compete with the football authority." The closing of the schools "follows a regulation established in '12 that required the country to adjust its schedule around the World Cup." The "reason for the measure is to guarantee 'urban mobility' in the 12 cities where games will be played" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 6/12).
THE BIG SCREEN: Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera announced that the city "will install a giant screen at its Zócalo plaza in the center of the city." The TV, which will measure 18x10 meters, will carry all the games from the World Cup. The broadcast signal will "also be shared with government officials throughout Mexico so that they can decide where to install the big screens in their respective states" (NOTIMEX, 6/11). ... Soldiers in a Nigerian state at the heart of an Islamist revolt shut down all venues preparing to screen live World Cup matches, "hoping to stave off the kind of attacks that have killed more than 20 people in the past two weeks." The Nigerian government also advised residents of Abuja "to avoid public viewing centres as the 2014 World cup kicks off in Brazil in case of attacks" (REUTERS, 6/11). ... A United Nations spokesperson said that the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo "will organize public screenings of all games during the FIFA World Cup" in two public areas of the DRC's capital, Kinshasa (XINHUA, 6/12).