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2014 World Cup News

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I wouldn't say it's specially in Europe. Racism is a serious issue in Europe, but also around the World.

Yes, it is. But the number of cases in Europe is enourmous compared, for example with South America.

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Donald Sterling is a saint compared to these boorish soccer fans.

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Racism happens in America too, most recently Donald Sterling and The Tea Party.

Racism happens everywhere, in every country. Hell there are people that are racist against their own 'race'. Race is f-ed. Especially since scientifically speaking Indians and the English are the same race.

Edited by faster

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Racism happens everywhere, in every country.

True!

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The exosqueleton to used in the first kick of the World Cup in Sao Paulo opening match.

The first kick of the tournament is going to be one to watch - it'll be made by a paralysed teenager wearing a mind controlled exoskeleton. The Walk Again project is a collaboration by a number of universities and uses micro-sensors in a cap to read brain signals. It's understood the teenage kicker is currently training to use the suit in virtual reality.


Probably to see a paralysed teenager walking and kicking a ball will make me cry easily.

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Shakira B)

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Shakira? Again? Not saying the song is bad or anything but FIFA seems to have an obvious fixation for her. Three WC's in a row with her, jeez.

Is true that racism happens everywhere but there are also the countries on which those acts are punished and those on which they seem to go unchecked often, such as Spain and most of Eastern Europe. Also, it's not only in football. Spain overall is one of the most racist countries in Europe. I know this by personal experience and most seem to view Latin Americans and Africans with big contempt. Insults like "sudaca" (a derrogatory term against latinos) are very common there.

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Shakira? Again? Not saying the song is bad or anything but FIFA seems to have an obvious fixation for her. Three WC's in a row with her, jeez.

It's an oral fixation!!

Oral_Fixation_Vol._2.png

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Adidas sees boost to sales from World Cup

(Reuters) - German sportswear company Adidas (ADSGn.DE) has given a more precise sales growth target for 2014, amounting to a rise of up to 8 percent, as it gets a lift from the soccer World Cup that starts in Brazil next month.

As a World Cup sponsor, Adidas provides the official match ball and is kitting out nine teams of the 32 finalists, including former world champions Spain, Germany and Argentina.

"This year we will add 1-1.2 billion euros ($1.4-1.6 billion) to operational revenue, with the World Cup playing an important role," Chief Executive Herbert Hainer told journalists at a briefing in Munich in remarks released for publication on Thursday.

That increase represents a rise of 7-8 percent from the 14.492 billion euros of sales Adidas recorded in 2013. Previously, Adidas had guided for a "high single-digit" increase in currency-neutral sales in 2014.

The world's second-biggest sportswear firm has been losing market share in western Europe, its home territory, to Nike (NKE.N), which is also challenging the German company's dominance in the soccer market.

Nike is supplying teams from 10 countries, including the Brazilian hosts, at the World Cup.

Hainer confirmed that Adidas expected to make a record 2 billion euros of sales in football this year, exceeding Nike's estimated $2 billion of soccer turnover.

"Football is the DNA of our company. We want to clearly show that we are number one in football," Hainer said, adding Adidas expected to sell significantly more balls than at the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago and about as many shirts.

Hainer acknowledged, however, that Adidas faced a "head-to-head" race with Nike in the business for football boots, including in Germany, predicting Adidas would sell 2 million pairs of special boots designed for the World Cup.

Argentina's Lionel Messi and Germany's Mezul Ozil are among the stars wearing Adidas boots, while Brazilian idol Neymar and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo will be sporting Nike shoes.

Adidas is investing a "double-digit million sum" in advertising associated with the World Cup with a particular focus on social media, he said, with plans for a media room in Brazil to deliver and filter content from its sponsored teams and players.

Reuters

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Record World Cup numbers game for FIFA and Brazil

GENEVA (AP) — The 2014 World Cup is the most valuable, lucrative and expensive in FIFA history.

Record numbers include a $35 million prize to the winning team's federation, $4 billion commercial revenue for FIFA and a $14 billion bill for Brazil.

With 3 million tickets available to buy, the 64-match tournament is almost sold out.

"The financial success — we have it, it is done," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has said. "The ticket sales success is there, we have never sold so many tickets."

FIFA's satisfaction is not shared across Brazil.

Taxpayers are picking up the biggest bill, with the country of 200 million people running up costs several times more than FIFA to stage the world's most-watched sports event.

The $14 billion total is the predicted spending on building and renovating 12 stadiums, upgrading federal, state and city infrastructure, plus security plans to welcome the 32 teams and around 600,000 expected visitors.

The spending fueled unrest in Brazil, especially during the Confederations Cup last June, among those wanting better schools, hospitals and less government corruption.

"When Brazil bid for the World Cup they had the budget to do so," Valcke said.

FIFA forecasts it will spend $2 billion on the 2014 tournament, including the local organizing committee costs.

Still, much of that bypasses Brazil. Even if the host nation does earn the winner's check on July 13, the remaining $323 million in FIFA's prize fund goes to the other 31 nations.

The federations also share $48 million from FIFA to prepare for the tournament, and $70 million goes to (mostly European) clubs whose players are selected.

The $35 million first prize is less than 1 percent of the governing body's revenue banked directly from its marquee event over a four-year commercial cycle.

Broadcasters and sponsors pay most of FIFA's $4 billion income.

European television networks have paid the majority of the nearly $1.7 billion, so far, in rights fees to FIFA, according to the past three years of financial reports.

Six top-tier partners — Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony, Visa — pay a combined $177.125 million annually. That totals $708.5 million over four years.

Eight second-tier sponsors — Budweiser, Castrol, Continental, Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, Moy Park, Oi, Yingli — collectively pay $524 million. About $120 million has been earned from Brazilian 'national sponsors,' according to the 2011-13 financial reports.

FIFA also gets hundreds of millions from fans buying match tickets, plus agencies securing the rights to sell corporate hospitality seats, and licensed merchandise.

As street protesters in Brazil know, FIFA's revenue is untaxed there. World Cup sponsors and media also receive exemptions for their operations as a condition of Brazil's hosting bid in 2007.

FIFA, however, has spent significantly in Brazil.

FIFA already gave $221.6 million to the embattled organizing committee, and more should follow in last-minute wrangling over paying for essential services.

In February, FIFA settled a nearly $20 million bill for power generators needed for broadcast operations.

"We stepped in because it's not a question just of money," Valcke said then. "We were afraid that we would not be on time to deliver this energy. And without it, we cannot broadcast the World Cup."

FIFA's investments include tens of millions for TV production to deliver the biggest ratings this year.

In 2010, the Spain-Netherlands final was watched by 530.9 million people according to the reliable "average global in-home audience" measure. More than 900 million people watched at least one minute of the match at home, and the overall total likely topped 1 billion when public viewing places are added.

Spending by FIFA on ticketing, accommodation and IT services has also helped Brazil's economy. Draw ceremonies for the qualifying groups in Rio de Janeiro in July 2011 and the finals tournament in Costa do Sauipe last December added several millions more.

The full World Cup financial picture will be clear only next March, when FIFA publishes its 2014 accounts.

Typically, its numbers peak in a World Cup year.

Its reserves are $1.4 billion, which are intended to keep the Zurich-based body operating and organizing its other tournaments — including the Women's World Cup, under-17 and under-20 events, Summer Olympics, Club World Cup — if its main attraction is canceled.

FIFA reinvests about 75 percent of its income in soccer, including $250,000 annual grants to each of the 209 member federations. The six continental bodies get $2.5 million each, and $27 million was spent in 2013 on development projects, such as pitches and training centers.

That $27 million was exceeded by paying $36.3 million in executive bonuses, and the total personnel bill was $102 million for about 450 staff members.

FIFA can certainly afford the current and future expenses.

Booming sales for the next two World Cups to broadcasters Fox and Al-Jazeera, among others, and renewed deals with long-term commercial partners Adidas and Coca-Cola should ensure that $5 billion flows into FIFA for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

AP

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Brazil's Rousseff hits back at Ronaldo World Cup criticism

In an exclusive interview with Reuters on Friday, Ronaldo lamented that many infrastructure projects promised by Brazil's government for the tournament were significantly delayed, scaled-down, or canceled altogether, while some stadiums remain unfinished just over two weeks from kick-off.

"It's a shame. I am embarrassed, this is my country and I love it and we shouldn't be transmitting this image abroad," Ronaldo said, who as a member of the Local Organizing Committee is one of the most visible backers of soccer's world governing body FIFA and the Brazilian government.

The government's response comes amid efforts to protect both the nation's image and that of Rousseff herself as she comes up for re-election in October.

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Can the Brazilians here provide some input on whether Roussef will get re-elected?

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She can win on a second round. Rousseff's popularity declined sharply but opposition is unorganized and has a worse reputation than Dilma's Workers Party. Much of the mass protests last year proposed changes but with Dilma/WP ahead of them. Conservative states like São Paulo and Minas Gerais will make some noise and Aécio Neves, Dilma's main opponent, is based in Minas Gerais.

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I do think it's a very open scenario this year for the elections. So far Dilma would win a second round election. But it's too early to claim anything. Brazilians are more worried about World Cup right now.

But when campaign starts in August, the odds can change as the TV spots and debates starts. Maybe Aécio can gain some momentum or Dilma can simply seal the deal. It's impossible to predict right now.

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I don't doubt Eduardo Campos/Marina Silva (yes, the lady with the olympic flag in London) can leap to a second place in a second round with Dilma. Aécio's PSDB is too out of touch with social movements, intelectuals, university people and any influent voice today that can change the mind of indecisive voters.

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I don't doubt Eduardo Campos/Marina Silva (yes, the lady with the olympic flag in London) can leap to a second place in a second round with Dilma. Aécio's PSDB is too out of touch with social movements, intelectuals, university people and any influent voice today that can change the mind of indecisive voters.

I agree.

And in fact, I believe all scenarios for a second round are possible. Even some Aecio vs. Eduardo Campos (ok, this is very unlikely).

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Rio's Maracana with the look of the World Cup

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Ticket guide for supporters

Escanear-23-05-2014-13_59-page3-e1400865

Escanear-23-05-2014-13_59-page2-e1400865

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Look at this picture:
article-2640591-1E3A33E100000578-635_634
Any "serious" press will first investigate why the grass is like that before releasing any note.
But these people here act differently. Look what they did:

FIFA face huge headache with World Cup final's Maracana pitch in woeful state just 19 days before hosting first of its seven games
Rio de Janeiro's showcase Maracana Stadium pitch in poor condition
The brown surface is scarred, pock-marked and has had sand added to it
With just over two weeks to go to kick-off, World Cup chiefs may have a new concern on their hands with the playing surface at the Maracana in a shocking state.
It may be the spiritual home of 'O Jogo Bonito', but with 16 days until the tournament begins and 19 days until it hosts Argentina and Bosnia in its first match, it doesn't look like anyone will be playing beautiful football on the hallowed ground any time soon.
FIFA staged a final run-through of the Rio de Janeiro venue on Monday and while the stadium itself is good to go, the surface is anything but.
The Maracana pitch looked unfit for even a casual kickabout, such was its terribly scarred, pock-marked appearance. It may be suited more to beach football if the piles of sand being applied to it were anything to go by as teams of groundsmen tackled the brown surface.
Organisers, who told Brazilian media this morning that FIFA were working 'to guarantee that the grass will be rooted and fixed' in time for the tournament, will be hoping for a miraculous repair job. After delayed stadiums and unfinished infrastructure projects, a playing surface unfit for purpose at a World Cup final venue would be unforgivable.

Now let me explain why I quoted this. Green Leaf, the company contracted by FIFA who installed and makes maintenance of the grass in WC stadiums, are planting "winter" grass seeds at the Maracana. To fixate the seeds, they need sand. They are not doing this because the grass is sick or because there are holes in the field. They are doing this for Maracanã to have the best grass in the next month, where temperatures tend to lower in Rio de Janeiro. They are agronomists, not amateurs. If they said the procedure takes three days, I believe them, what for the newspaper would be "a miracle".

Just a question to anyone from FIFA, LOC or the government and they had this answer. That's what a serious reporter should do before releasing something. But he chose to attack Brazil, influencing newspaper readers.

Now let's see where he came from... UK!

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The Maracanã now:

ESP469454.JPG

The amateurs from the third world are simulating sunlight during night to try the miracle of saving the stadium grass.

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Typical. British press is so weird.

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FIFA has already begun to install adhesives in the low walls with the visual identity:

2345063_big-lnd.jpg
2345065_big-lnd.jpg
2345066_big-lnd.jpg
FIFA.com

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They are also placing sand in the Corinthians stadium.

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I think all the venues of the southern part will undergo this procedure.

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