“When cities put forward a bid to stage the Olympics, the date of the Games is an explicit part of the proposal. IOC members know what they are voting for. This, of course, was not the case in the race to stage the 2022 World Cup. An inspection group carried out a detailed study into the bids, and put the information at the disposal of FIFA’s Executive Committee – which proceeded to take little notice. They chose Qatar with barely a thought for the logistical problems and world football has been in a bind ever since. It would seem that some sort of compromise is being worked out. A conventional June/July World Cup presented the obvious problem of extreme heat, and so the tournament is set to be staged in November and December.” The World Game – Tim Vickery
“When they sadly packed away their yellow shirts last July, most Brazil fans must have thought that it would be some time before they would be reaching back into the wardrobe for that particular item. The astonishing 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany was then followed by the reappointment of the snarling Dunga as national team coach. Morale was low. Fast forward eight months, though, and the mood is more upbeat. Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Chile at the Emirates Stadium in London means that Brazil have now won eight consecutive matches.” BBC – Tim Vickery
“An architecturally innovative park – conceived in Brazil’s modernity boom of the late 50s – in iconic Rio de Janeiro, will host some of the city’s 450th birthday celebrations, providing a visual reminder of a time when Brazil’s football was at the cutting edge of the global game.” The World Game – Tim Vickery
Angel Correa is leaving Argentina to play in Spain.
“For the crunch World Cup match against England last year, Uruguay were without their captain and centre-back Diego Lugano. In to replace him came Jose Maria Gimenez, a 19-year-old who had played in a grand total of one league match the previous season and one Copa del Rey fixture for Atletico Madrid. It is hard to imagine England, or another major European nation, throwing a youngster into the deep end in this way. But Uruguay had no qualms. Gimenez had been immaculate the previous year in the World Under-20 Cup, and that was good enough. This story helps to explain the importance of under-20 football in South America. There are plenty of others like it.” BBC – Tim Vickery
“Now that a few candidates have thrown their hats into the ring, at least the next FIFA presidential election should generate a healthy debate, something which seems to be in short supply on the subject. The European, and particularly the English, press go on and on about corruption scandals. There is much to applaud here. The most noble part of journalism is that which digs into stories and asks questions which make those in power uncomfortable. Moreover, corruption is clearly harmful, with corrosive effects on institutions and individuals.” The World Game – Tim Vickery (Video)
“With South American football currently slumbering through its high summer siesta, I hope I might be forgiven for glancing backwards at what has just become last year’s World Cup. The tournament was well worth remembering – for the protests it engendered beforehand, for the spectacle it provided us with during and for the memories that linger afterwards. These are some of mine.” The World Game – Tim Vickery
“Squeezed around domestic commitments, European champions Real Madrid arrived in Morocco this week for the Fifa Club World Cup – but their South American counterparts, San Lorenzo of Argentina, have been there in spirit for months. Ever since an emotional night in August when they won the Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, San Lorenzo have found it impossible to forget about the Club World Cup.” BBC – Tim Vickery