World Cup stadium inauguration postponed in Brazil

January 30, 2014

Associated Press, 1/30/2014

The first test match at a World Cup stadium in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre will not be played this weekend as planned because infrastructure work outside the venue has not been completed.

The Beira-Rio is not expected to be fully completed until late February, but local club Internacional was set to host matches with limited attendance beginning on Sunday. The matches would serve as test events as the stadium prepares to host five World Cup games in June.

The decision not to play at the Beira-Rio was made because of all the infrastructure work outside the venue.

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Tram in Brazil not ready for World Cup

January 8, 2014

Jenny Barchfield – Associated Press, 1/7/2014

A light rail system that was meant to help soccer fans get around World Cup host city Cuiaba, in Brazil’s remote Mato Grosso state, will not be ready in time for the tournament, a top state official says.

Mauricio Guimaraes, who heads World Cup projects in the far western state, said the 13 mile-long train lines won’t be completed until December, more than five months after the end of the World Cup.

Mato Grosso’s infrastructure projects have been plagued by delays, and news reports say 47 out of the state’s 56 World Cup-related projects are delayed. Cuiaba’s Arena Pantanal stadium, which is scheduled to hold four World Cup matches starting with Chile vs. Australia on June 13, was among six World Cup stadiums throughout Brazil that missed the Dec. 31 delivery deadline set by world soccer’s governing body, FIFA.

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Brazil marks Candelaria massacre anniversary

July 23, 2013

Jo Griffin – Al Jazeera, 07/23/2013

It was a dark chapter in Brazil’s history that shocked the world and sowed the seeds of social reform after eight street children were gunned down by off-duty police officers outside the Catholic Candelaria Cathedral on July 23, 1993.

Twenty-years later, some observers are questioning if the upcoming World Cup in 2014 and 2016 Olympics will lead to further police abuse against vulnerable young people as authorities attempt to clean up Rio de Janeiro. The anniversary also puts the spotlight on persistent accusations of police brutality, mostly against Brazil’s most impoverished people.

While celebrations are underway with the visit of Pope Francis to Rio, the grim Candelaria anniversary will be marked with several sombre events and marches outside the church.

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A good start, but in Brazil it’s all about the finish

June 17, 2013

Rob Hughes – The New York Times, 06/16/2013

The Confederations Cup now playing in Brazil is window dressing. It is a rehearsal to test the host’s ability to stage next year’s World Cup in front of fans who have lived on memories for most of their lives.

Brazilians dream of Jogo Bonito, the Beautiful Game. They cannot escape the past, and not simply because the likes of Pelé and Tostão are commentators reminding them that things are not what they were in their day.

But maybe there is one player who can live up to their past.

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Brazil police evicts Rio indigenous museum protesters

March 22, 2013

BBC News, 03/22/2013

A group of indigenous Brazilians has been evicted from the building they had been occupying in Rio de Janeiro for more than six years.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to dislodge the indigenous people from the former museum.

The building is next to the famous Maracana football stadium.

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Brazil seeking UN help in World Cup preparations

March 21, 2013

Yahoo Sports/Associated Press, 03/21/2013

World Cup organizers in Brazil say they have signed a $17 million deal with the United Nations to help host the tournament.

Claudio Monteiro, the head of World Cup preparations in Brasilia, says the capital’s organizing committee signed the deal with the U.N. Development Program this week.

The U.N. will provide temporary structures outside the stadium to house support services and provide some security services.

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Olympics, World Cup spur Brazilian hotel boom

March 20, 2013

Barbara DeLollis – USA Today, 03/20/2013

If you’re planning a trip to Brazil to stroll the white sandy beaches, conduct business meetings or attend next year’s World Cup matches, chances are you’ll be able to stay in a new hotel.

And you won’t have to spend a fortune.

Brazil’s in the midst of a hotel building boom that promises to deliver thousands of newly built, moderately priced hotel rooms.

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Blatter: FIFA ‘totally’ trusts WCup host Brazil

March 19, 2013

Graham Dunbar – Yahoo Sports/AP, 03/19/2013

FIFA ”totally” trusts that Brazil will have stadiums and infrastructure ready for the 2014 World Cup, Sepp Blatter said Tuesday.

Despite ongoing delays in preparations, Blatter said after a meeting of FIFA’s World Cup organizing committee: ”Don’t be afraid.”

Brazil has delivered only two of six stadiums so far for the Confederations Cup in June. The iconic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro has been given an April 27 completion deadline.

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Russian PM in Brazil seeking arms, nuclear technology deals

February 20, 2013

Alexei Anishchuk – Reuters, 02/20/2013

(Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday on a visit to Brazil aimed at sealing defense and nuclear technology deals with a fellow member of the BRIC bloc of emerging nations.

On their agenda was the possible sale of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems to Brazil, a Brazilian government spokesman said.

Brazil is beefing up its air defenses ahead of the World Cup soccer tournament next year and the 2016 Olympic Games to ward off the threat of a terrorist attack during the global sporting events, which will draw massive crowds of foreigners.

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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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