Brazil want Neymar to play at 2016 Olympics in Rio

July 28, 2014

Joe Prince-Wright – Pro Soccer Talk, 7/28/2014

Brazilian superstar Neymar had his World Cup cut short by injury this summer, but he may get another chance to represent his nation on home soil sooner than anyone thought.

According to a report from Brazil on Monday, the 22-year-old winger is in the plans of Brazil’s Olympic coach Alexandre Gallo to be an overage player on Brazil’s roster during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The only issue is that Neymar is expected to play for Brazil at the 2016 Copa America Centenario tournament being held in the U.S. and his involvement in the Rio Olympics could see him miss the start of FC Barcelona’s season in Spain.

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Brazil to Spend Record $600 Million to Boost Olympic Medal Hopes

July 24, 2014

Tariq Panja – Bloomberg, 7/23/2014

Brazil’s Olympic Committee will spend a record $600 million in an attempt to secure a top 10 medals ranking when the Summer Games take place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Through a combination of public and private funding, the country will prepare 400 athletes with the aim of as many as 30 medals, 13 more than the the team achieved at London 2012. For that event, Brazil, which was joint 14th place on the total medals ranking, spent $350 million. It was 22nd in gold medals.

Hosting duties gives Brazil responsibility to outperform its previous records, said Marcus Vinicius, director of sport at Brazil’s Olympic Committee.

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World Cup demonstrates why international games leave millions behind economically

July 23, 2014

Jefferson Mok – Global Post, 7/23/2014

We often hear sport is a great equalizer that can level out distinctions like class and stomp out problems like racism. In fact, development agencies have long embraced sports as a means to transcend violent rivalries, especially in conflict-torn communities.

Kingsley Ighobor, information officer in the Africa Section for the United Nations, recalls the powerful ability of sports — soccer for men, kickball for women — to build trust between former combatants and civilians in post-civil war Liberia.

“People that had not had a reason to smile for many, many years, suddenly, they are all rallying around their team, they are happy,” he said. “Sports can enhance social cohesion within communities.”

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Interview: Brazil’s Tourism President on the World Cup Disaster That Wasn’t

July 23, 2014

Samantha Shankman – Skift, 7/22/2014

Statistically speaking, the games attracted one million foreign tourists (far above its 600,000 estimate), added about $13.5 billion to Brazil’s annual GDP, and encouraged the building or renovation of 12 new stadiums.

Although critics inside and outside of the country will continue to debate the economics of the games, Brazil delivered a tourist experience better than expected for anyone who read the news about lack of preparation and riots in the weeks and months prior to the games.

Brazil’s tourism organization Embratur is already looking ahead to 2016 when the country will again host a global sporting events, but its newly instituted president Vincente Neto first talked to Skift about his perspective on the games.

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Brazil reacts with praise and scorn to Dunga return

July 23, 2014

Michael Place – Global Post, 7/23/2014

Brazil’s media and past players reacted with a mix of praise and scorn to the appointment of Dunga as national soccer coach for a second time.

The 1994 World Cup-winning captain on Tuesday replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari, who resigned last week following Brazil’s failure to reach the World Cup final as hosts and pre-tournament favorites.

Dunga’s appointment comes four years after he was sacked from the same position after Brazil’s quarterfinal loss to the Netherlands at the 2010 World Cup.

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Rio Olympics organizers can glean lessons from Brazil’s World Cup

July 21, 2014

Mimi Whitefield – Miami Herald, 7/19/2014

Brazil has barely said tchau to the World Cup, but it has no time for a breather. In two years, Rio de Janeiro will be throwing out a welcome mat to the world as host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Only three countries — the United States, the former West Germany and Mexico — have had such a short turnaround between hosting duties for the two biggest sports events on the planet. In the 1930s, however, both the United States and Germany hosted summer and winter Olympics in the same year.

Despite misgivings about everything from security to transportation to whether stadiums would be finished on time, Brazil managed to pull off a successful FIFA World Cup. That’s a positive omen for the Aug. 5-21, 2016 Olympics and Sept. 7-18 Paralympics.

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Brazil’s World Cup Was Never Simple, Always Irresistible

July 18, 2014

Jason Gay – The Wall Street Journal, 7/18/2014

They had a soccer tournament, and the best team won. If only the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were as simple as that.

Let’s look backward—before Germany’s extra-time victory over Argentina in the final, before the host country’s agonizing, indelible 7-1 loss in the semifinals, before the individual greatness of Lionel Messi, Miroslav Klose, James Rodríguez, Neymar Jr. and Tim Howard. Before 20,000 fans jammed Grant Park in Chicago to watch the U.S. team. Before Luis Suárez launched his infamous incisors.

Let’s go back to the beginning, to the original idea: a World Cup in Brazil.

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Brazil tracks World Cup lessons for Rio Olympics

July 18, 2014

Stephen Fottrell – BBC, 7/18/2014

The World Cup may be over, but in just two years’ time Brazil will once again brace itself for an influx of huge numbers of visitors, sports fans and tourists for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The 2014 tournament has generally been regarded as a success, in the face of many doubts inside and outside Brazil.

So what can the country learn from the experience that can help it to host its next major sporting event? BBC Brasil’s Renata Mendonca looks at the lessons learned and the challenges ahead for Brazil.

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Brazil After The World Cup: Images Show What Billion-Dollar Stadiums Could Become

July 18, 2014

Philip Ross – International Business Times, 7/17/2014

Now that all the World Cup hoopla has ended and the millions of visitors to Brazil have bid farewell, the question remains: What will a country that spent $4 billion to renovate and build new soccer stadiums do with all that vacant space?

Some of the stadiums will still be used for soccer matches, but others have no obvious niche to fill now that the World Cup is over.

So a group of sustainable urban designers came up with a potential adaptive reuse: Using them as housing for the homeless and the displaced. Designers from 1week1project, an architectural think tank based in Paris and Santiago, say turning those stadiums into apartments for Brazil’s homeless would have the added effect of addressing the negative publicity Brazil generated for its exorbitant spending to upgrade its soccer infrastructure while social services languished — and while 250,000 low-income people across Brazil were forcibly relocated or evicted from their homes to make way for new construction.

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Dissatisfaction with the World Cup grows again at the end

July 17, 2014

Folha de S. Paulo, 7/17/2014

São Paulo – Brazilian dissatisfaction with the World Cup in the country grew with the end of the competition, notes a Datafolha report.

Compared with the numbers calculated in the previous survey, completed between the 1st and 2nd of July, in the middle of the competition, the number of people who said that the Cup brings more harm than good to Brazilians rose eight points, from 46% to 54%. Yet those that think that it brings more good than harm fell nine points, from 45% to 36%.

These post-World Cup numbers are identical to the pre-World Cup numbers. In a study performed between the 3rd and 5th of June, one week before the opening of the Cup, 54% said that the Cup would bring more harm than good to the Brazilians, and 36% said it would bring more good. Read the rest of this entry »


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