Ever since they won the right to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, problems have plagued Brazil’s bid at every hurdle.
FIFA’s general secretary Jerome Valcke has a word to sum up the task so far: hell.
Strong words indeed from the man who has been in charge of ensuring the stadiums, host cities and everything else in between is up to scratch to welcome the world next month for the World Cup.
Valcke has previously lambasted the delays to stadiums, threatened to take games away from certain host cities and has had to deal with many other issues in his role as FIFA’s top inspector in the vast South American nation.
Now he’s laid the boot into the organizers once more after speaking out in Laussane where Valcke had the following to say about helping Brazil to prepare for soccer’s showpiece event this summer.
“In Brazil there are certain politicians who are against the World Cup, and the fact is that we’ve been through hell, essentially because in Brazil you have three political levels and there has been a change — there was an election and we’re not necessarily talking with the same people (as before) — it was difficult to keep repeating the same message,” Valcke said. “It’s not FIFA that is organizing the World Cup in Brazil but Brazil which is organizing the World Cup in 12 towns. We’re supporting Brazil to ensure that it’s a success because the whole of FIFA is based around the success of the World Cup. If the World Cup is a failure then we, FIFA, are in trouble.”
From host cities not having Fan Fest’s, widespread protests against the governments spending to stage the tournament and huge delays in construction of the stadiums, it has indeed been a nightmare for FIFA and the Brazilian organizers to make the 2014 a reality.
Will it all the hassle be worth it? We haven’t got long to find out. June 12 is almost upon us.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.
Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:
“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”
It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.
But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.
Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.
Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.
[ MORE: No China for Costa ]
Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.
United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.
Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.
[ MORE: No China for Costa ]
Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.
Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.
Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.
The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.
Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.
[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]
The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.
Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following: