Wednesday, March 30, 2011
RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil's 2014 World Cup officials are lining up to debunk FIFA chief Sepp Blatter's suggestion they are behind schedule, with Rio de Janeiro state sports secretary Marcia Lins joining the fray on Wednesday.
"Blatter mustn't worry, the (construction) time frame will be met," Lins said in an interview.
FIFA president Blatter criticised on Monday what he called Brazil's day-after-tomorrow attitude to their World Cup preparations.
He said political infighting was delaying work especially in Rio, which is to host the final at the giant Maracana stadium, and Sao Paulo where work has not yet begun on a venue to hold the opening match.
The Brazilian government and the local organising committee also said soccer's ruling body FIFA should not worry and invited Blatter to come and see for himself.
"If (FIFA) have doubts they can be clarified. They can come here and watch the work going on at the Maracana," said Lins, repeating the invitation to Blatter.
"We have cameras monitoring the works and the local organising committee have access. There are daily visits and inspections that will show the Maracana won't be a problem for the (2013) Confederations Cup," Lins added.
"The stadium will be ready in December 2012. There's no risk of that not happening."
Lins said she was working on the basis of the Maracana being the main arena for the Confederations Cup which will act as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup a year later.
"It's a natural thing. One of the objectives of the Confederations Cup is to test the stadiums for the (World) Cup. The Maracana, apart from staging the final, will be used for other matches," she said.
"Rio is also the gateway to Brazil which gives the stadium even more relevance."
The project for the stadium's refurbishment is to be officially unveiled on April 19.
It will detail all the work to be undertaken including whether the run-down upper tier will be restored or rebuilt from scratch -- which is expected to increase costs from 705 million reais ($428 million) to more than one billion.
"If we opt for restoring (the Maracana) it will get a new lease of life of something over 10 years," Lins said. "If we decide on reconstruction, that time could be 20, 30 years depending on the materials we use."
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
By Africa Reuters
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's top soccer official has hit back at criticism from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, saying there was harmony between the government and the 2014 World Cup tournament's organising committee.
"I'm unaware of any conflict between mayors and governors in any of the twelve 2014 World Cup venues," said Brazilian Football Confederation president Ricardo Teixeira, who is also head of the Local Organising Committee (COL).
"On the contrary, FIFA has seen for years the combined work of the public authorities with the Local Organising Committee and FIFA itself," he said in a statement posted on the CBF website (www.cbf.com.br).
Teixeira said Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff had shown her support "concerning the federal government's principal attributes (airports and urban transport)."
Blatter had been scathing of progress on the tournament on Monday, and said political squabbles were a principal cause of the delays, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, which is to host the final at the giant Maracana stadium, and Sao Paulo where work has not yet begun on a stadium to hold the opening match.
Teixeira said the Maracana would be ready within the deadline set by FIFA in 2013 in time for the Confederations Cup which serves as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup finals despite problems recently discovered in the upper tier that will have to be redone from scratch rather than simply restored.
He added that he had been given guarantees from the parties involved in building a new stadium in Sao Paulo that it would also been ready within the set time frame.
"It's not the job of the CBF to pressure governors, the less so when there's no reason to do so," Teixeira said before he invited Blatter to Brazil to see the progress of work.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Uefa will use the same format to decide which 13 European nations qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as it employed for the 2010 tournament.
The same 53 European countries which played in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers will compete in nine groups, with the winners of each going to South America.
The eight best runners-up will be drawn in two-legged play-offs to determine the other four qualifying nations.
The preliminary draw for the 2014 World Cup is scheduled for 30 July in Brazil.
Europe will have its lowest share of teams at the World Cup since the inaugural event in 1930 when only four travelled to a 13-nation tournament in Uruguay.
At the 1994 World Cup in the United States, the last to feature 24 countries, 13 European teams played.
That number increased to 15 out of 32 teams four years later with 14 going through the qualifying process while France qualified automatically as hosts.
In 2002, defending champions France again qualified automatically, to ensure 15 European nations were present in Japan and South Korea.
However, Europe was reduced to 13 qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup with hosts Germany taking up a 14th spot.
Defending champions are no longer guaranteed a spot, so 2010 World Cup winners Spain will join 52 other nations who will be split into eight groups of six teams and one group of five.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the executive committee of European football's governing body.
Uefa has also approved recommendations on corruption and match fixing to "establish a network of integrity officers around Europe involving all national associations and on fostering collaboration with state authorities".
Meanwhile, Uefa secretary general Gianni Infantino reiterated that the Bosnian federation would be suspended from April if it did not cut its ethnic-based three-member presidency to one.
Uefa and world governing body Fifa have given the Bosnian federation until the end of March to do so or face suspension.
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 21 (Xinhua) -- President of the U.S. Export-Import Bank Fred Hochberg announced on Monday a financing of 1 billion U.S. dollars for Brazilian companies involved in projects for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The money must be used to purchase products made by U.S. companies.
According to Hochberg, Brazil is one of nine countries the Bank considered priorities for investments, but also a country in which the Bank's operations evolve at a very slow pace.
Hochberg hoped the new financing serves as a beginning of a period of faster growth for Ex-Im Bank's operations in Brazil.
"This should be only the beginning, so that the financing to Brazilian companies reach a higher level," he said.
On Sunday, in a speech in Rio's Municipal theater, U.S. President Barack Obama said his country intends to help Brazil in the projects for the games.
"We need world-class infrastructures, which is why U.S. companies want to help you build and prepare this city for an Olympic success," he said.
Besides the financing for the Cup and the Summer Olympics, the Ex-Im Bank will release a 2 billion U.S. dollar credit to Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras to purchase products from U.S. companies as well.