Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Brazil: #WorldCup inaugural today

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

The first game is today at 5PM local time, and so The Futebol Can Finally Begin
Concern About Brazil’s Preparation Gives Way to Worry About the Team as the Host Is Set to Face Croatia

If form holds, much of the anxiety about overspending will dissipate once the referee blows the opening whistle. It will give way to an entirely new anxiety—whether the home team will perform up to expectations.

For Brazil, that means only one thing: seven victories that culminate in a championship in Rio in July 13. Just three host nations have won the tournament over the past 40 years: West Germany in 1974, Argentina in 1978 and France in 1998.

ESPN and Univision have the TV schedule.

World Cup, Olympics test Brazil’s development dreams
The World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio were supposed to spur development, but that plan is hitting unanticipated roadblocks.

The São Paulo Subway Workers Decided Not to Strike despite threats to walk off the job unless 42 co-workers fired this week were reinstated.

São Paulo Metro workers’ union President Altino de Melo Prazeres Júnior said members were worried about a potential public backlash. “What weighed on our decision was fatigue and the fear of some workers that people could view our decision as a move to disturb the World Cup,” he said.

However, 20% of municipal airport workers in Rio de Janeiro are going on a 24-hour strike today, which one hopes won’t disrupt service.

Intense Versus Laid-Back: São Paulo vs. Rio
The World Cup Is the Latest Stage for Brazil’s Civic Rivalry

Let’s hope the events go on as planned without disruptions.

The WSJ has World Cup coverage.

Paul Mirengoff looks at what’s wrong with the World Cup.

Drudge had more headlines:

Pope warns against World Cup racism and greed…

World Cup poised for troubled kick-off…

Camp of 5,000 squatters springs up in Sao Paulo…


Brazil: World Cup disaster ahead

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Eight days to the World Cup inaugural, and things don’t look good. Read my latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, Brazil: World Cup disaster ahead.

Related:
As Brazil Barrels Toward World Cup, Brazilians Aren’t Feeling It

Brazil: World Cup blues UPDATED

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Oh-oh:
Hope Fades in Brazil for a World Cup Boost
For many Brazilians, facing unfinished or canceled infrastructure projects, the World Cup has become a symbol of the unfulfilled promise of an economic boom in this South American nation.
Money quote:

For many Brazilians, the Cup has become a symbol of the unfulfilled promise of an economic boom for this South American nation. But the boom has fizzled. And now the World Cup’s $11.5 billion price tag—the most expensive ever—and a list of unfinished construction projects have become reminders of the shortcomings that many believe keep Brazil poor: overwhelming bureaucracy, corruption and shortsighted policy-making that prioritizes grand projects over needs like education and health care.

Video:

And in yesterday’s paper, World Cup: A Dozen Stadiums, a Million Problems
Brazil’s World Cup Build-Out Is Late and Over Budget; Workers Scramble to Finish Roofs, Seats and Sidewalks
. Don’t miss the slide show.

UPDATE:
Glum: Brazil’s economy grew by 1.8%, and its bonds were downgraded to BBB-, the lowest investment grade.

Brazil: 1 stadium, 3 x the cost

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The Mané Garrincha stadium is up in Brasilia, at a whopping US$900million, triple the estimated cost:
Soccer Stadium Raises Brazilian Ire
Cost of Building a Stadium in Brasília Has Tripled From its Original Budget, Drawing Allegations of Graft and Mismanagement

Costing 2 billion reais, or about $900 million, the Mané Garrincha National Stadium is the most expensive soccer stadium ever built in Brazil. Projected costs have tripled since construction began in 2010, and a federal auditor has concluded in a series of reports that nearly a quarter of the stadium’s costs are excessive or inflated.

“Price overruns are either a gross error or bad faith,” said Renato Rainha, an audit official who has directed two probes into the stadium.

Local officials dispute those allegations. Federal prosecutors have filed no charges or lawsuits. Authorities responsible for the contracts denied any wrongdoing and said they are cooperating with the auditors.

It seats 71,412, which comes to $12,603/seat.


Brazil: Welcome to Usama’s!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014


faustaMy latest article at Da Tech Guy Blog, Brazil: Welcome to Usama’s!, is up. Please read it and leave a comment.

Brazil: Airports not ready yet

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Oh-oh:

Brazil’s Latest Airport Project Not Fully Ready For FIFA World Cup

The Brazilian media have been almost gleefully picking on its country’s lack of preparedness for the FIFA World Cup matches that begin in June, with the latest news being that an airport won’t be fully functional as planned.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. The Viracopas International Airport in the interior São Paulo city of Campinas will surely be opened for its usual flights, but its newest R$2 billion ($800 million) terminal will not be ready as promised.

The airport terminal is not the only problem.

Expanding the roadway in and out of the airport, including areas for taxi service, also requires some new construction. But, again according to Folha, the consortium was only granted its go-ahead environmental permit on March 28. Ownership said that is enough time to expand the roadway before the May 11 deadline, and surely before the World Cup opening.

Not to worry – Putin’s team will get there

For now, team aircraft from Russia, Japan and Portugal, among four others, as well as TAP Airlines will be the only aircraft allowed at the new terminal when World Cup soccer begins on June 12.

Still, the developer says the project will be “fully operational” by May 11.


Mexico: The most interesting skier in the world

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

At last night’s #Sochi opening ceremony, the incessantly boring and downright stupid talk

had a brief respite when Katie Couric Meredith Vieira referred to Hubertus von Hohenlohe as “the Most Interesting Man in the World.”

Humbertus (may I call him Humby?) was a friend of Andy Warhol, is the son of the Prince and Princess of Wurttemberg, and has competed in every winter Olympics since 1984. Since his mom is named Ira (which means “wrath” in Spanish) I wouldn’t dare ask if she has a tattoo that says “Son”, but he seems to have been beefing up his obituary.

He even sings on the swimming pool,

A great part of Humby’s “interestingness” is probably due to his having more money than G-d, which sets him apart from the other skiers.

Humby’s going to ski in this,

Let’s hope he remembers the rest of his gear.

Sochi: Airline loses Jamaicans’ bobsled

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

The Jamaican bobsleigh team missed their first training session on the Sochi Olympic track after their luggage was lost en-route to Russia.

Bad enough, but wait until they get there:
Shaun White Pulls Out of Snowboarding Event
White says the course is too risky.

And don’t use the water,

More at #SochiProblems

Chile: Palestinian shirts making a statement

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

against Israel, that is. As reported by AP:

The Palestino soccer Club of Chile’s first division recently released its new jersey. But many are outraged because shirts that include the number “1″ show the numeral in the shape of Israel and the Palestinian territories, implying all the land is Palestinian.

Here’s a photo:

Representatives of the Chilean Jewish community have urged Fifa to take action against the Santiago-based Club Deportivo Palestino.

Brazil: Corinthians Arena to be ready by April

Friday, December 6th, 2013

As I predicted last week,
Sao Paulo World Cup Stadium to Be Ready by April
Corinthians Arena Work Delayed by Fatal Accident

Work on the stadium was halted last week after an accident killed two workers there and damaged a part of the stadium. Because ongoing investigations paralyzed construction at part of the site, authorities were concerned about construction being completed on time. The stadium was originally scheduled to delivered at the end of this month, giving organizers time to test the stadium ahead of the sporting event.

According to a report in Estado de S Paulo newspaper, Odebrecht asked local authorities for clearance to resume work on the damaged portion of the stadium. Odebrecht didn’t confirm on Friday if it had asked for such authorization, or if the April 15 deadline depends on getting that authorization.

There’s no way that the world cup opener won’t be held at Corinthians.