Joe Biden to attend World Cup in Brazil

April 15, 2014

The Wall Street Journal, 4/14/2014

The White House announced that Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Brazil in June to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The White House said Mr. Biden will attend a game of the U.S. national team, but didn’t provide more details. The U.S. is scheduled to play Ghana  on June 16, Portugal on June 22, and Germany on June 26 — considered one of the toughest groups in the competition. The top two teams from the group, Group G, advance to the round of 16.

In 2010, Mr. Biden was in South Africa for the World Cup. Ahead of the USA game against England,he predicted a USA upset. “[I]n the spirit of the Irish, I want to say that we’re going to beat England.” The game ended in a draw, which was a good result for the underdog American side — and inspired the New York Post headline, “USA Wins 1-1.

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Another World Cub construction death in Brazil

December 16, 2013

CNN, 12/15/2013

A construction worker in Brazil died early Saturday after falling off the roof of the World Cup stadium in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

Five workers have died on construction sites of World Cup stadiums under construction in Brazil, hosts of next year’s international soccer tournament.

The worker, identified as Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, fell 35 meters from the roofing structure and was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

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Brazil drums up business during Confederations Cup

June 13, 2013

Marco Sibaja -AP – 06/13/2013

Brazil hopes to generate $1 billion in export deals during the Confederations Cup, the warm-up tournament for the 2014 World Cup, the government said Wednesday.

The government’s Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency says it is using football as a way to bring foreign and local business representatives together during the two-week tournament that begins Saturday in Brasilia.

“We have top quality stadiums which, together with the high quality of Brazilian football and the country’s competitive and innovative companies, form a fantastic business platform,” Mauricio Borges, the agency’s president told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

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A year until the 2014 World Cup begins and Brazil’s unease is growing

June 12, 2013

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 06/11/2013

In the heart of Recife, a stadium pulsates with the cheers, chants and boos of more than 50,000 fans in belligerent, festive mood. Most are in their team colours, filling the ground with black, white and red, but a handful wear fancy dress: there’s an Elvis, Jesus, Superman, Centurion and Cobra (complete with giant plastic snake) adding to the carnival atmosphere already created by the batéria drummers and the pre-match barbecues and copious bottles of Skol.

The football is not bad either, with occasional touches of skill that would not be out of place at the highest level. Yet this is the home of Santa Cruz, a Serie C (third-division) Brazilian club from the north-east who claim the most devoted fans in the country, perhaps even the world. More often than not, this lowly team draw more fans than giants like Flamengo, Botafogo or Fluminense. For big derbies, attendances often outstrip those of Stamford Bridge or the Etihad.

But it is also in this heartland of Brazilian and world football that you can feel the greatest unease about the changes being wrought before next year’s World Cup finals. Violence, corruption, gentrification and the poor form of the national team have eroded confidence in Brazilian football, which is undergoing a painfully accelerated transition as a result of next year’s tournament. Attendances are down, violence is rampant, and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) is fending off allegations of corruption, secrecy and mismanagement of the preparations for 2014.

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Caxirolas: The vuvuzelas of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

April 29, 2013

Zineb Abdessadok – Time, 04/29/2013

The sound of vuvuzelas blaring became an instrumental part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. And now, the caxirola is going to be the noisemaker of choice for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

What is a caxirola, you ask? Well, it is a yellow and green percussion instrument that sounds like the traditional South American “rainstick” when shaken, according to The Independent.

Fortunately for those whose ears are still ringing, the designers “Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown and the country’s ministry of sports” took into account the grumbles that made vuvuzelas kind of enervating, so they made this contraption “considerably less grating,” reported The Independent.

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Two football fans shot dead before 2014 World Cup test event at stadium in Brazil

April 15, 2013

Talez Azzoni – AP/Daily Mail, 04/15/2013

Two fans were shot to death on their way to a test event at a World Cup stadium in north-eastern Brazil on Sunday, just two months before the venue hosts matches in the Confederations Cup.

The fans were killed about three miles from the Arena Castelao in the city of Fortaleza, one of the six venues hosting matches in the Confederations Cup in June and one of the 12 getting ready for next year’s World Cup.

‘We lament what happened,’ said Tiago Paes, a local World Cup organising committee member who was at the test event in Fortaleza. ‘But there is work being done by the police and the army in many areas of security, so we are not concerned with that for the Confederations Cup.’

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Italy seeks continuity, Brazil revival in friendly

March 20, 2013

Andrew Dampf – NBC Sports/AP Sports, 03/20/2013

Italy hasn’t beaten Brazil since a memorable victory en route to the 1982 World Cup title and will be looking to show off its newfound swagger in Thursday’s friendly after last year’s run to the European Championship final.

Brazil hasn’t beaten anyone of note lately and is looking to regain its confidence under Luiz Felipe Scolari, who guided the Selecao to the 2002 World Cup title and was brought back in November to replace Mano Menezes.

So it will be a friendly in name only when the two squads that share nine World Cup titles between them – five for Brazil, four for Italy – meet in Geneva.

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England Takes a Page From Brazil’s Playbook

February 7, 2013

Rob Hughes - The New York Times, 02/07/2013

LONDON — The British introduced Brazilians to soccer more than a century ago and since then have spent an awful lot of time trying to get their ball back.

No one can doubt that. It goes beyond the fact that Brazil has won five World Cups — and England just the one, in its own stadium 47 years ago. There has been a chasm in class between the two, mostly stemming from sheer mastery of the ball, for much of that history.

On Wednesday, albeit in a friendly game that counted for no points, England beat Brazil, 2-1, at the rebuilt 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium.

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Brazil unveils official poster for 2014 World Cup

January 30, 2013

Andrew Downie & Leslie Gevirtz – Reuters, 01/30/2013

Brazil presented the official poster for the 2014 World Cup at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, unveiling bright colors and fluid patterns that evoke the tropical nation’s rich flora and fauna.

Designed by the Crama agency, it shows a map of Brazil between two players challenging for a ball.

“The official poster is an important step to showcase Brazil and the FIFA World Cup in the host country and abroad,” said retired soccer star Ronaldo, one of the three members on the World Cup’s local organizing committee.

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