Brazil May Turn Stadium Into Prison

40,000 fans were in attendance for a World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Ecuador in Manaus in 2003. (Getty Images)

Concerns that one of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums will struggle to find a purpose after next summer’s matches have led to an unusual proposal.

A judge and president of the Amazonas prison system’s monitoring group told press this week, according to France 24, that he will be making a formal request to turn the 44,500-seat stadium in Manaus into a prison after the tournament.

The stadium is only scheduled to host four group stage matches, but will cost approximately 200 million euro ($270 million US). Local officials have thus far rebuffed the prison plan, claiming development should center around entertainment and sports.

A civil engineer quoted by France 24 said the proposal was “ridiculous,” saying the structure of a prison is vastly different than that of a stadium.

The proposal’s original intent was to ease prison overcrowding. Manaus’s current facility was originally intended to hold around 300 prisoners, but now houses over 1,000.

City Approves Orlando Funds

Orlando is one step closer to landing a Major League Soccer franchise after the city council unanimously voted to approve funding for a $20 million downtown stadium.

Stadium approval would be the final hurdle toward gaining an expansion team, according to WFTV. The city expects the team to begin play in 2015.

“I am delighted to have the city behind us so we can now focus on the second vote that is only two weeks away,” said Phil Rawlins, president of Orlando City Soccer.

The next step comes later this month when the vote goes before the county commission.

AC Milan Exec Blasts Stadium Ban

The San Siro, open since 1926, will be empty for an upcoming match. (Getty Images)

AC Milan’s vice president has slammed the decision to close the San Siro for an upcoming match.

The sanction was handed down by the Italian football federation, in accordance with UEFA rules, over territorial chants during Sunday’s match against Juventus.

“I understand that racism is a big problem, a worldwide one,” said Adriano Galliani to Fanatix. “However, territorial discrimination is something different.”

He then called on the rule to be abolished and says all of Serie A’s presidents are in agreement.

“If 50 people get together, then they can kill a club with racial or territorial discrimination chants.”

Napoli to Renovate

Threats to move the club have proven empty as Napoli has elected to renovate Stadio San Paolo instead.

Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed they are no longer considering a move to a new stadium in Caserta.

Instead, Napoli will remain at their current home, which will undergo a renovation with help from the Naples council.

“Napoli will have the rights to ownership of the stadium and the adjacent zones,” De Laurentiis told Tuttomercatoweb, “so to do everything, we need to make it to the maximum level of European standards.”

Platini Visits Toulouse

Romania and Cuba prepare to play a 1938 World Cup match at Toulouse’s then-new stadium. (Getty Images)

UEFA president Michel Platini paid a visit to Toulouse for a look at one of the ten venues that will host Euro 2016.

Platini was accompanied by Jacques Lambert, chairman of Euro 2016 SAS. The UEFA chief met with both the mayor of Toulouse and the president of Toulouse FC, then attended Wednesday’s Ligue 1 match between Toulouse and FC Lorient.

The arena seats 33,000 and was originally built for the World Cup in 1938. It staged six matches when France hosted the 1998 World Cup.

“Toulouse is a festive city which has a very fine stadium, and I think the city will be equal to the task,” said Platini in a UEFA release. “There is a genuine warmth here and everything went very well at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.”

Other host cities in 2016 include Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, and Saint-Etienne.

New Brussels Stadium Expected by 2020

Belgium intends to build a new stadium in Brussels that will pave the way for a Euro 2020 host bid.

The Belgian, Flemish, and Brussels governments are working together on the project. A feasibility study will be released by the end of the month to determine whether the project is possible.

“We don’t think it should be either soccer or athletics,” Flemish premier Kris Peeters said in a radio interview, “If possible, both should be integrated into the stadium.”

The stadium would be privately funded.


By INSIDER’s Nick Devlin

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