Ricardo Teixeira, left, and Brazil coach Dunga (All photos Getty Images)

(WFI) The Brazilian government is set to spend $890 billion on infrastructure projects in the build-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced the new plan, which has been dubbed the Growth Acceleration Program 2.

Around $61 billion will be spent on the construction of highways, railways, ports, waterways and airports. The program also includes a feasibility study for three new bullet train lines. Many projects are linked to preparations for the World Cup.

Luciano Coutinho, president of the National Economical and Social Development Bank said that the World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympics infrastructural projects “need to be carefully planned and developed”.

“The World Cup and the Olympics for Rio provide huge opportunities to develop new qualities for the city and revive the qualities it already has,” he was quoted by Agencia Brasil.

Coutinho revealed that the bank has already received several funding requests for the 2014 World Cup from different cities. “We will have enough time to analyze the requests,” he said.

“Our challenge is to learn lessons from other organizing countries and make sure that we don’t make mistakes already made.”

New Brazilian championship?
Brazilian football confederation president Ricardo Teixeira is willing to scrap the organization of the Brazilian championship to allow Clube dos 13, the organization that represents the country’s 20 top clubs, to create a new national competition.

The plan requires that former Flamengo vice president Kléber Leite leads the initiative and becomes Clube dos 13‘s new president, replacing Gremio’s Fábio Koff, accordig to a Folha de Sao Paulo report.

Teixeira was in Sao Paulo last week to meet with representatives of the clubs from Sao Paulo. He reportedly asked for support for Leite, arguing that he is able to raise the profile of Brazilians clubs within CONMEBOL, the continental confederation.

Teixeira believes Leite can negotiate a bigger slice of the revenues Brazilian clubs get for participating in the Copa Libertadores, the South American club competition.

Argentina improves match revenues
The Argentina FA’s match agent Guillermo Tofoni says the country’s friendly internationals can now generate at least $1 million for the AFA.

Tofoni, who has organised over 150 international matches, 14 for the AFA, says that before he became involved with the Argentina FA in 1999, the AFA was only making $250-300,000 dollars per game.

In the interview with Canchallena last week, he talked about exploiting the revenue potential of the national team to grow AFA profits.

“There has been a commercial repositioning of the Argentina national team. Even Brazil copied the way we work,” said Tofoni, a FIFA-recognised match agent.

“Argentina has always had a national team with the ability to fill stadiums. Now AFA profits from that.”

He said some of the revenue would be used to cover the high costs of 2010 World Cup preparations. “Argentina is one of the first teams that will arrive in South Africa, and we made a million [dollar] investment in a training center that has all the facilities,” he said.

New President of Sao Paulo FA
Marco Polo del Nero was elected unopposed as president of the Sao Paulo FA. His mandate lasts until 2014. The extension of the mandate of Del Nero [for another three years] was based on Article 103 of the Brazilian FA statute, which also allowed Ricardo Teixeira to extend his presidency of the CBF until 2015.

Chilean FA warms up for World Cup
The Chilean FA is to announce friendlies against Egypt on May 26 and Ireland on June 4 in their preparations for the World Cup. They will also play Mexico, Israel and New Zealand before the tournament kicks off in South Africa.

reporting from Steve Esselink in Rio de Janeiro
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