“Full Trust” in Brazil Security, Says FIFA
FIFA says it’s yet to consider cancelling the 2013 Confederations Cup, according to a Friday statement from world football’s governing body.
The morning after an estimated two million protestors turned out in cities across Brazil, including some who hurled stones at two FIFA minibuses and attacked a hotel in Salvador hosting football officials, a series of four tweets from FIFA insists the show must go on.
Friday’s statement, in full, reads: “FIFA supports and acknowledges the right of free speech and to demonstrate peacefully and condemns any form of violence. FIFA is in constant contact with local authorities. Have full trust in security arrangements and we’ll continue to monitor situation. At no stage, neither FIFA, the (LOC), nor the Federal Government have discussed or considered cancelling the FIFA Confederations Cup. FIFA in constant contact with all stakeholders, including teams. FIFA has not received any requests to leave Brazil, from any team.”
The protests started fewer than 48 hours before last Friday’s opener when thousands gathered in the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to protest escalating bus and subway fares.
In the week since, however, demonstrations spread to include a range of grievances, including the costs of the 2014 World Cup.
President Dilma Rousseff canceled a trip to Japan next week, according to news reports, and will hold an emergency meeting later Friday with key ministers.
Confederations Cup matches run through June 30 in six cities across Brazil.
Possible Thai Ban Could Include Exhibitions
FIFA’s possible suspension of the Football Association of Thailand could also affect four upcoming exhibition matches, FAT president and FIFA Ex-Co member Worawi Makudi warns.
Manchester United are scheduled to play the Singha All-Stars on July 13 with visits from FC Barcelona and two other European clubs to follow. All four are sold out.
“I don’t want to speculate on the consequences of a possible sanction,” Makudi was quoted Thursday by the Asian News Network.
“But FIFA stated the suspension would prevent us from having international contact. I assume it includes everything. [If our] association gets suspended, nobody would want to get involved,” he said.
World football’s governing body is demanding a fourth-tier club in Thailand withdraw its lawsuit by Monday so FAT can proceed with revising its statutes in line with FIFA rules and regulations.
FIFA “Very Happy” with U-20 WC Security
FIFA says security for the Under-20 World Cup will be beefed up as a result of ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey.
The 24-team tournament kicks off Friday in seven cities and runs through July 13.
“The FIFA security people are very happy with the security situation that exists at present in Turkey,” Jim Boyce, chairman of the tournament organizing committee, was quoted Friday by the Associated Press.
“FIFA is determined that this tournament will go ahead and certainly I sincerely hope the security situation will not be a problem, and I can honestly say I don’t think it will be.”
Galatasaray SK’s stadium will host 11 matches, including the final, in Istanbul, where some of the fiercest clashes between police and protestors took place after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered a crackdown on demonstrators. Police fired teargas and water cannons to clear thousands of people from Taksim Square.
FIFA Reconsiders 3-D
FIFA may stick to two dimensions for the 2014 World Cup as ESPN abandons 3-D broadcasts.
According to an Associated Press report, ESPN’s dedicated 3-D channel will go off the air by year’s end after the sports network said the limited viewership in the U.S. simply wasn’t worth the investment.
“The technology has had a few setbacks if you refer to some of the statements (by ESPN) … it’s clear when a big sports broadcaster like ESPN makes an announcement like that it creates a lot of extra tension,” Niclas Ericson, FIFA’s director of television, was quoted by AP.
FIFA is ”still reviewing whether we should do 3-D for the 2014 FIFA World Cup,” he added.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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