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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Big Events, Big Risks: Lessons From Brazil’s World Cup

October 2, 2014

Jacqueline Day – Forbes, 09/29/2014

For a month this past summer, billions of fans around the world stayed glued to televisions broadcasting the FIFA World Cup from Brazil. Millions more descended on Brazil to watch the games in person. They came despite the various warnings about Brazil’s readiness to host and fears of widespread, violent protests. Yet, as it should be, the tournament will mostly be remembered for the drama that played out on the pitch: from the Brazilian team’s epic collapse against Germany and the controversy that erupted when Uruguay’s Luis Suarez (some would say allegedly) bit an Italian opponent, to the emergence of Colombian star James Rodriguez.

That the tournament will be remembered first and foremost for the soccer was no small feat and, frankly, a massive surprise. Thousands of corporate VIPs, celebrities and world leaders descending upon a country known for its security, logistics and infrastructure challenges was worrisome enough. Such a backdrop, combined with the disruptive social unrest that flared unexpectedly in 2013, could have easily shifted the storyline away from the sporting competition itself. That it did not is a testament to the hard work and careful preparation of the legions of public and private sector workers, as well as to the Brazilian people’s devotion to “the beautiful game.”

The Brazilian security forces deserve plenty of credit. They took active measures to address lessons learned from the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, effectively managing and containing the smaller-scale protests that did occur, and critically, avoiding the heavy-handed tactics that only aggravated matters in 2013. They were helped by two additional factors. First, many Brazilians who had previously engaged in legitimate and peaceful protest activity during the Confederations Cup were alienated by the violent tactics of anarchist groups, the so-called Black Blocs, with whom they did not want to be associated.  Second, in keeping with custom, most Brazilians cared more about watching the matches than taking to the streets. Even Brazil’s crushing loss to Germany—an event that caused security directors to collectively hold their breath—failed to galvanize the masses to take back to the streets.

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2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ in numbers

September 23, 2014

FIFA.com, 09/23/2014

FIFA has released an in-depth document detailing the dizzying array of facts and figures that combined to make up the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

Want to know how often Goal Line Technology (GLT) was required? Or how many jobs were created? What about the fastest goal, or the number of HD cameras filming the event? For all these stats and many more, relating both to events on the field and behind the scenes, check out FIFA’s exclusive guide, a few tasters of which are provided below.

5,154,386 attended FIFA Fan Fests in Brazil during the World Cup, with Rio de Janeiro’s spectacular Copacabana site attracting 937,330 – the highest number in any individual city.

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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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