Brasilia, Rio to Miss FIFA Stadium Deadline
At least two of Brazil’s six stadiums for the 2013 Confederations Cup will miss FIFA’s April 15 delivery date, Reuters reports.
Rio's Maracana as seen April 9. (Getty)
Only Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza finished by the original December deadline set by world football’s governing body for cities hosting matches in the World Cup dress rehearsal kicking off June 15.
President Dilma Rousseff inaugurated Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador last Friday, and Recife will open Arena Pernambuco on Sunday, barely beating FIFA’s new cutoff of April 15.
That leaves Brasilia, where 5,000 builders are working around the clock to finish the $500 million Mane Garrincha National Stadium, according to Reuters, and Rio de Janeiro, where the Maracana is in the final stages of a $400 million renovation for the Confederations Cup, World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
According to Rio state officials, April 27 is now the earliest the Maracana could be handed over to FIFA.
“Not all operational arrangements will be 100 percent,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke wrote last week on FIFA.com, insisting there’s no room for such delays with the 2014 showpiece.
"The deadline for the FIFA World Cup stadiums delivery stands firm as December 2013. There will be no compromise," he said.
Russia Debates Anti-Hooliganism Bill
An anti-hooliganism bill is on its way to the upper house of Russia’s parliament after passing the lower house Tuesday.
Zenit St. Petersburg versus Dynamo Moscow. (RIA Novosti)
According to the proposed legislation, violent fans could be fined $32 and suspended from one to six months If a fan's behavior led to the disruption of play, the fine could increase to $64 and could include up to 15 days behind bars along with a one-year ban.
If passed, the bill would go into force 180 days after President Vladimir Putin signs off.
“From to implementing the idea, there's a long, long way to go," honorary Russian Football Union president Vyacheslav Koloskov was quoted by RIA Novosti. "How long this takes depends on the coordinated work of all organizations involved in the competitions."
November’s infamous match between Zenit St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow, which was abandoned after a firework thrown from the stands injured a player, was but one of 14,000 offenses committed at Russian sporting events in the last three years, according to deputy sports minister Natalia Parshikova.
Written by Matthew Grayson.
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