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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To Brazil’s consternation, hordes of young Argentines make themselves at home after World Cup

July 25, 2014

AP – Fox News, 7/25/2014

Lucas Bazan Pontoni rifled through his pockets for the 45-cent lunch fee as he stood in line at a downtown soup kitchen. When he came up short, an acquaintance sprang for the government-subsidized meal.

One of about 160,000 Argentines who flooded into Brazil for the World Cup, Pontoni hardly fits the image of deep-pocketed foreigners who dropped around $3 billion in Brazil during the monthlong tournament. The 23-year-old actor is broke, and he has no immediate plans to return home almost two weeks after Germany beat Argentina in the July 13 final.

“Brazil is amazing, and I want to stay,” said Pontoni, who had been camping out in Rio’s Sambadrome Carnival parade grounds, lunching at soup kitchens and searching for an odd job to cover bus fare to see northern Brazil. “It could be weeks or months or longer. I’m going to see where life and the road take me.”

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Dour Outlook For Brazil May Be Exaggerated: A Contrarian Take

July 25, 2014

Jim Cahn – Nasdaq, 7/25/2014

With the World Cup having put it in the spotlight, Brazil is getting a lot of critical attention, including reports that the country is unprepared to host the 2016 Olympics. Between those two events are the pivotal October elections, which will determine if South America’s largest country is going to stick with populist policies and price controls or start doing some very unpopular things to mitigate inflation and revitalize the stagnating economy.

Its domestic growth production is restrained in the 2% range, its foreign imbalances have grown, the currency is being hammered and even the often slow-to-react ratings agencies have cut Brazil from BBB to BBB-.

But frankly, it’s not all that bad. In fact, the outlook for certain sectors is quite good, especially consumer goods, finance and infrastructure.

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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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​​Dozens of Activists in Brazil Were Arrested Not for Protesting the World Cup, but for Possibly Planning to Do So

July 23, 2014

Raphael Tsavkko Garcia – Global Voices, 7/22/2014

A day before the final World Cup match, 28 people opposed to hosting the tournament in Brazil were arrested “preemptively” at their homes in the city of Rio de Janeiro on the early morning of July 12. Police suspected they would engage in violent acts during a protest scheduled for the next day and accused them of “forming an armed gang” based on what activists and alternative media are calling false evidence.

A total of 37 people were arrested as part of Operation Firewall; some were detained simply for having a connection to the activists. Most were released, but five are still in jail waiting to be brought before the court or indicted.

Police reportedly found weapons, masks and explosives at some of the homes of those arrested, but activists have disputed the claim, saying that only knee pads, a tear gas mask, newspapers and a flag were seized. A 16-year-old, one of two minors detained, was accused of forming an armed gang based on a gun belonging to her father discovered in the house she was in, according to the collective Rio na Rua.

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Brazil Boosts Security in “Pacified” District

July 22, 2014

Latin American Herald Tribune, 7/22/2014

Brazilian authorities on Monday strengthened security in a cluster of Rio de Janeiro shantytowns that were officially pacified four years ago after decades as a bastion of drug traffickers.

The additional police presence follows a violent weekend.

A police officer was wounded, two vehicles were burned and a police base was attacked on Sunday night by suspected drug dealers who evidently were acting in reprisal for the death of a young man during a gunfight and the jailing of one of their associates, Rio state police said.

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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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World Cup Hit Brazil’s Economy Hard

July 21, 2014

Paul Kiernan – The Wall Street Journal, 7/17/2014

Early indicators of Brazil’s economic performance during the World Cup period are starting to trickle in, and they aren’t pretty.

While the month-long tournament drew a million foreign tourists to Brazil–far exceeding official expectations–economists say its impact on other sectors of the economy was decidedly negative. Some World Cup host cities declared municipal holidays on days when matches were played in local stadiums, while untold legions of workers played hooky to watch the Brazilian national team’s seven games.

Brazil’s National Confederation of Industry, or CNI, said in a report Friday that its leading indicator of industrial production fell to the lowest level since 2010, when the survey began. Capacity utilization fell to 68%, the lowest level on record for any month, while “undesired” inventories soared.

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