Wednesday, April 13, 2011

China to Assist Brazil in 2014 World Cup Preparations

A new cooperation and investment agreement between China and Brazil is set to boost preparations for the 2014 World Cup.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and Chinese president Hu Jintao signed the agreement at the Great of Hall of the People in Beijing.
It committed both countries to a partnership in infrastructure construction for Brazil 2014 tournament and Rio 2016 Olympics, Chinese media reported.
Rousseff, who is in China on a six-day visit, called on Chinese rail companies to bid to build high-speed railways projects, including a 500km rail link from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, which is expected to cost around $20 billion.
Further opportunities to invest in World Cup-related projects will be on show at this year's Soccerex Global Convention in Rio de Janeiro.
Today, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke confirmed his attendance at the Nov. 26-30 event.
Also attending this year’s event, the second to be held in Rio, will be representatives from all 12 World Cup host cities.
A number of FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games partners and sponsors will also be in attendance as well as executives from leading football clubs and rights holders from around the world.
The inaugural event attracted around 3,700 decision makers from the football business industry.

UK sports minister gets behind Women’s Super League
British sports minister Hugh Robertson says he believes the English FA's Women’s Super League, kicking off tomorrow, will be raise standards and interest in the women's game.

“I am extremely confident that the FA’s Women’s Super League will be a great success and will not only benefit our national team but over time will improve standards at the grassroots level of the women’s game both on and off the pitch,” Robertson said at the launch event at Wembley on Monday.

Eight teams from across the country will play in the WSL, the first semi-professional women’s football league in England.

The FA has spent several years developing the WSL, with the aim to professionalise women’s football and attract more women and fans to the game. New research from the FA shows that 180,000 women aged 16 to 34 are considering taking up football in the next year.

England women’s team manager Hope Powell is excited about the launch of the WSL and says it will help prepare her players for the Women's World Cup in Germany in June.

“Playing summer football is quite a radical change, but I think it will be great for the game,” Powell said in a statement.
“Hopefully it will attract more supporters to women’s football because we’ll have nicer weather and conditions will be more pleasant for people to come and watch the matches as a family.

“More importantly, hopefully it will raise standards.

"There are eight teams in the League and the geographical spread of those teams is quite good. Players will want to play, so they will probably move clubs if they want to get regular games at a high level and that puts a good pressure on every member of the squad to perform when they are in the team.”

Teams representing Arsenal, Birmingham, Bristol, Chelsea, Doncaster, Everton, Liverpool and Lincoln will play each other twice over 14 match rounds, kicking off with Chelsea Ladies against Arsenal Ladies on Wednesday.

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