Fifa’s third-party ownership ban: is it good or bad news for Brazil?

October 21, 2014

Fernando Duarte – The Guardian, 10/21/2014

The revelation that Barcelona paid over £20m more than they originally declared to tempt Neymar from the Brazilian seaside town of Santos to the more noble shores of Catalonia in May 2013 was noisy enough to bring down the then president Sandro Rosell and trigger an investigation into the finances of the striker’s father and main adviser, Neymar Sr.

It also shone a light on the complexity of the deal and the number of parties involved. In 2009, when Neymar Jr was aged 17 and was not even a regular in the first team, Santos already feared losing the boy’s services. To entice him to stay, the club put together a vastly improved contract negotiated by selling “chunks” of the player, accounting for 40% of his economic rights, to DIS, a fund belonging to a Brazilian supermarket mogul. By the time he was sold to Barcelona, Teisa, a group formed by some of the club’s directors, also owned a further 5% of the golden goose.

Neymar’s tale is emblematic of why Fifa’s decision to ban third-party ownership “within three or four years” will have a strong impact in Brazilian football. Without investors, Santos would have never been able to hold on to their biggest poster-boy when big clubs, Chelsea included, came knocking – even though the process also included the club pretty much relinquishing any participation in the player’s image rights.

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Neymar: I am ready to lead Brazil

September 12, 2014

Goal, 9/10/2014

The 22-year-old says he is prepared to captain Dunga’s team and insists the Selecao can be encouraged by the start they have made under their new coach

Neymar says he is ready to lead the rebirth of Brazil after captaining the team to two straight Gillette Brasil Global Tour victories.

The Selecao followed up Friday’s 1-0 victory over Colombia with a triumph by the same scoreline against Ecuador in New Jersey on Tuesday, ensuring new coach Dunga got off to the perfect start in his first tests since succeeding Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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Brazil soccer field harnesses player-power

September 11, 2014

The Associated Press - CBS News, 09/11/2014

Kids streaking back and forth on a soccer field in scorching tropical heat promises to produce something more than buckets of sweat.

Billed as Brazil’s first player-powered soccer pitch, a field inaugurated Wednesday in a Rio de Janeiro slum harnesses the kinetic energy of players’ movements to provide nighttime illumination. Soccer legend Pele was on hand for the pomp-filled event in the Morro da Mineira slum, which saw a local youth team put the system to the test.

Under the project, sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, around 200 energy-capturing tiles developed by British startup Pavegen were installed the width and breadth of the field and covered by a layer of AstroTurf. Working in conjunction with solar panels also installed around the field, the player-powered tiles feed electricity to a system of floodlights overhead.

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Blatter praises Brazil for great World Cup

September 9, 2014

Mike Collett – Reuters, 09/08/2014

FIFA president Sepp Blatter always believed this year’s World Cup would not be affected by the civil disturbances that blighted the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil and he said he was delighted his prediction came true.

Blatter, 78, described the tournament on Monday as “great” and the “best World Cup” he had been involved in during an interview recorded for delegates at the Soccerex Global convention.

“It was, in my opinion, the best World Cup I have ever seen in the terms of quality of the football and the ambience it created in all the cities, in all the stadia .. Really it went under the skin,” he said.

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Brazil begins recovery from World Cup debacle

September 4, 2014

Craig Davis – Sun Sentinel, 09/03/2014

Just say the score, nothing more. 7-1.

It’s enough to send a chill through the bruised psyche of Brazil all over again. It has been speculated that repercussions of the national team’s stunning loss to Germany by that incomprehensible score in the recent World Cup on home soil could even cost Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff the upcoming election and send the economy into a tailspin.

That’s why Friday’s friendly between Brazil and Colombia at Sun Life Stadium is much more than a typical international exhibition. It is the first chance for Brazil to begin the healing process.

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Brazil: new project to clean Olympic waters

September 3, 2014

Jenny Barchfield – Associated Press, 09/02/2014

Rio de Janeiro officials on Tuesday unveiled a new sanitation project that aims to eliminate the stain of raw sewage defiling the waters of Rio de Janeiro’s Gloria Marina, where the 2016 Olympic sailing events are to be held.

Under the agreement, Rio’s state government is building a 1-kilometer- (0.62-mile-) long pipeline in the city’s Flamengo neighborhood to stem the flow of raw sewage into the Marina. The $6.2 million project will connect area rainwater collectors with a sewage treatment center in the Ipanema Beach area.

More than half of the sewage in this city of 12 million goes untreated, meaning that collected rainwater is often contaminated with raw sewage. More than 10,000 liters of raw sewage flows each second into most of Rio’s waterways, from the massive Guanabara Bay, where the Gloria Marina is located, to its beaches and lagoons.

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Brazil’s Post-World Cup Tourism Push Calls for More of Everything

September 3, 2014

Diane Brady – Bloomberg Businessweek, 09/03/2014

It’s hard to know whether to envy or sympathize with Brazil’s tourism minister, Vinícius Lages. While the summer’s World Cup brought more than 1 million foreign visitors and about $7.5 billion in revenue, it didn’t avert an economic slowdown or highlight much beyond soccer. With President Dilma Rousseff facing fierce competition from Marina Silva in October’s national elections, it’s not clear that Lages will get much chance to make his mark.

This hasn’t stopped him from crafting a plan to recast Brazil’s tourism brand. His goal isn’t just to play off the World Cup in building buzz for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Lages wants to develop everything from craft-beer tours in Belo Horizonte and foodie-oriented attractions near the Amazon to international student programs.

“I would love to get Richard Branson to help design something here in Brazil,” Lages says during a visit this week to Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. “Look at what he has done with Virgin Galactic.” The fact that Lages hasn’t yet pitched Branson on any aviation-related ideas underscores the fledgling state of his planning.

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