Posts Tagged ‘World Cup’

FIFA follies

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

That’s what I call a goody bag! Football Association dragged into Fifa controversy over £1million worth of watches handed to World Cup nations
Fifa’s ethics committee have confirmed the acceptance of the £16,000 Parmigiani Fleurier timepieces

Telegraph Sport was seeking a response from the FA on Thursday as to whether any of its officials took home a goody bag distributed by the Brazilian Football Confederation in June to commemorate this summer’s World Cup and which contained a watch bought from one of its sponsors.

According to the UK’s Mirror, this is the watch:


That’s $25,000 for your wrist.

Why did Qatar win the bid? FIFA isn’t telling:
FIFA Investigator Wants Report Made Public
Michael Garcia, the former U.S. attorney in charge of investigating the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, on Wednesday said he wants his report to be made public.

FIFA hired Garcia in 2012 to investigate the bid process, which generated much controversy after Russia and Qatar won the voting to host the next two World Cups. Garcia delivered the report to FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert earlier this month.

Qatar beat out bids from Australia, the U.S. and Japan to host the event in 2022 despite temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Since that vote in 2010, Qatar has been dogged by allegations that it secured the outcome through a series of secret deals. Organizers of the Qatar bid have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Earlier this year, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said selecting Qatar was a mistake.

Is Qatar building air-conditioned venues?

Will they move the tournament to a season when the temperatures are not as high?

IS QATAR THE FOREMOST SUPPORTER OF THE ISLAMIC STATE’S SUNNI JIHAD?

In other Qatar news,
Qatar quits basketball over headscarf ban

If chosing [sic] Qatar as a World Cup finals venue was bad, Russia’s tournament in 2018 offers a recipe for disaster
Best way of halting Russia expansionism is not travel sanctions – it is the threat of stripping it of World Cup

The more we find out about them, the more delightful the hosts of the 2022 World Cup finals sound.

How endearing is the way they treat their workers – dying in their dozens in death traps masquerading as work places. How refreshing their approach to those who ask questions – at least two journalists have gone missing in Doha in the past six months after attempting to investigate the working conditions of those tasked with building World Cup stadiums. How enlightened is their foreign policy – Qatar is a sizeable financial sponsor of the Islamic State thugs as they go about their business of forcefully returning Syria and Iraq to the Stone Age. What fun it is going to be playing games with them. How relaxed and carefree. And that is before we even mention women’s and gay rights. Or the heat.

There is one thing, though, to be said in favour of Qatar. And it is not an insignificant virtue. At least it is not Russia.

Think Qatar’s losing the 2022 World Cup? Think again

Tenuously related:
Obama’s UN Speech

Blogging on Latin America will resume shortly.


FIFA regrets

Friday, July 18th, 2014

After seven years of planning, $14 billion (more than three times what it cost to put on the 2010 tournament in South Africa) and 31 days of competition, this:

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says Brazil may have been wrong choice to host 2014 World Cup
Weeks after the protests in Brazil that marred the Confederations Cup, Blatter conceded ‘if this happens again we have to question whether we made the wrong decision awarding the hosting rights.’

After World Cup, Brazil Asks: Was It Worth It?

June Job Creation in Brazil Below Forecasts
Brazil generated 25,363 jobs in June, below most forecasts and the worst performance for the month since 1998, the government said Thursday

Russia’s the next host: Russia insists finishing stadiums not a problem, and hey, as hosts, they don’t even need to qualify.


En español: regresa la Unidad de Quemados

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

@DrNetas volvió del Brasil, chicos,

The semifinals Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 7th, 2014

LatinAmerArgentina and Brazil go to the World Cup semifinals, and that has been the top story all over the hemisphere.

ARGENTINA
Argentina running out of options in lose-lose debt battle with ‘vultures’

Murder verdict over Argentina bishop
Two former senior military officers in Argentina have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Bishop Enrique Angelelli in 1976 during military rule.

World Cup police cooperation leads to arrest of fugitive from Argentina’s ‘dirty war’
Salvador Siciliano, a leading member of the notorious Triple A anti-communist death squad in the 1970s, captured in Brazil thanks to heightened communications between international forces around the tournament

BOLIVIA
Bolivia sanctions child labour as young as 10
Bolivian congress passes laws that allow 12-year-old children to be employed in full-time work for others, with 10-year-olds permitted to work if self-employed

Bolivian Cops Occupy Command Centers to Demand Pay Hike

BRAZIL
Brazilian police link Fifa official to World Cup ticket gang

Brazil Tragedy Raises Doubts on Building Rush
Grief Descended on Belo Horizonte, a World Cup Host City, Following the Collapse of a Highway Overpass
Video here.

CHILE
Chile’s Bachelet Introduces $27 Billion Infrastructure Program

COLOMBIA
Colombia Taps World Cup Fever to Urge Guerrilla Defections

CUBA
Putin to visit Cuba and other LatAm nations

Media bias reaches new depths in reports on Castrogonian vehicle sales
Four motorcycles sold in Cuba, in addition to those fifty cars.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Authorities Arrest 137 Haitian Migrants

ECUADOR
NYT editorializes with this headline, Government of Ecuador Can Sue Fugitive Bankers in U.S.

GUATEMALA
Four Guatemalan Cops Accused of Extorting Olympic Athlete

HONDURAS
Honduras: Search for Miners Continues

HUMOR

JAMAICA
Jamaica selling out its paradise

MEXICO
New Telecom Rules in Mexico Clear Senate Hurdle
Mexico is near to completing its biggest overhaul of the telecommunications sector in more than two decades.

The telecom bill is a tough blow for Mr. [Carlos] Slim. It forces mobile unit Telcel to complete calls from competing networks without charge, and establishes that domestic long-distance charges made by Telmex will be phased out starting next year. The bill also gives powers to the new enhanced regulator to set some phone rates of dominant players.

Mexico’s reforms
The power and the glory
Foreigners enthuse over Enrique Peña Nieto’s reforms. Mexicans are warier

PANAMA
Venezuela restores ties with Panama
Relations were broke off after President Maduro accused Panama of joining the US in an “open conspiracy” against him.

PARAGUAY
Animals Take to Rooftops to Survive Floods in Paraguay

PERU
Hero of Peru’s Battle with Shining Path Arrested

PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico: The New Detroit
Puerto Rico is moving to restructure a large slice of its debt. More trouble could be on the way. And, Mercado Libre is the eBay of Latin America. But it has a new competitor: eBay itself.

VENEZUELA
Spain’s €3,500 Epalisticia buys El Universal for €90 million

Che’s Battle Comrade Becomes Maduro’s New Economic Adviser
Cuba’s Dominance over Venezuela Out in the Open for All to See

The week’s posts and podcast:
Guatemala: When The Mountains Tremble to be corrected

Venezuela: Bye-bye, El Universal UPDATED

ISIS’s Chilean spokesman

Argentina: Pay up, Cristina

Invasion update: No visitors allowed on federal facilities, CDC opens Emergency Operations Center

Today’s update on the immigrant invasion

Venezuelan army protection racket at Guyana border

Obama to heal illegals with $2billion

Tinker, hacker, Snowden spy

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Bean-counting Catholic justices

Podcast:
Are Liberals Patriotic?


The yet-more-World-Cup Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 30th, 2014

For us not-fans, the World Cup drags on forever, but it’s only on its third week. The half-time verdict Expectations were low. They have been exceeded

They installed a huge stage right in the middle of Copacabana beach to watch #CHI beat #BRA Is it possible..? Yes we can !!

ARGENTINA
Ruling Risks New Argentine Default as Monday Deadline Approaches

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. must return a $539 million deposit from Argentina intended for restructured bondholders, a U.S. judge ruled, calling the transfer an “explosive action” that disrupted potential settlement talks with holders of defaulted debt.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York has ruled that Argentina can’t pay holders of its restructured debt without also paying more than $1.5 billion to a group of defaulted bondholders, raising the possibility of a new default as the South American nation approaches a June 30 payment deadline.

Robert Cohen, a lawyer for hedge funds holding the defaulted debt, told Griesa that Argentina “defiantly and contemptuously” violated his court orders.

BRAZIL
Prince Harry thanks Brazilians in first ever royal video message
Prince Harry thanks the people of Brazil for their hospitality in the first ever video message to be recorded by a member of the Royal family

The World Cup of Dirty Dreams: Inside Brazil’s Most Infamous Brothel
Full of beautiful women and XXX behavior, Rio de Janeiro’s Centaurus has enticed celebrities, soccer stars and anyone else willing to pay a fee and go inside. We go behind the doors of a scandalous sin palace

CENTRAL AMERICA
Central America Border Rush Fueled By Remittances

CHILE
Chile Falls from Investment Grace, Out of World’s Top 10
South America Drags the Regional Chain in Foreign Direct Investment Ranking

COLOMBIA
Pablo Escobar’s hippos: A growing problem. Jaime Bayly interviewed his former girlfriend. They did not talk about hippos:

COSTA RICA
StarTek leaves: Another US company closes operations in Costa Rica; 550 workers to lose jobs

CUBA
Amnesty International DOCUMENT – CUBA: FURTHER INFORMATION: PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE AWAIT SENTENCING

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Vatican Defrocks Ambassador in Abuse Inquiry

The Vatican has defrocked its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, an archbishop from Poland who was accused of sexually abusing boys while he served as the pope’s representative in the Caribbean nation.

The former archbishop, Jozef Wesolowski, 65, is the first papal nuncio known to have been removed from the priesthood because of accusations of child sexual abuse.

IMMIGRATION
Blame Comprehensive Immigration Reform Advocates for the Border Meltdown

FALKLAND ISLANDS
Falkland Islands UN resolution siding with Argentina ‘outdated’ and ‘not relevant’, says Britain
United Nations committee resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate a Falkland Islands solution – essentially favouring Argentina’s stance – dismissed by Foreign Office

IMMIGRATION
Top Border Control Official: The US Is Now Part of the Smuggling Business

MEXICO
CARTEL MEMBERS AMBUSH FEDERAL POLICEMEN IN MEXICAN BORDER STATE

Mexico vigilante leader arrested
Jose Manuel Mireles, one of Mexico’s main vigilante leaders battling drug cartels, is arrested for carrying unauthorised weapons, officials say.

PANAMA
Panama pulls a Pontius Pilate move on Chong Chon Gang

PARAGUAY
Paraguay floods lead to evacuation of thousands

PERU
Peru’s Pay-to-Commit-Crime Politics: Presidential Corruption under Investigation
No More “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards, Says Peruvian Congress

Rare Incan ‘Calculators’ Found in Peru

PUERTO RICO
A Band-Aid for Puerto Rico
Legislation was passed to provide a mechanism to restructure the debts of Puerto Rico’s so-called public corporations.

URUGUAY
Take a bite out of crime? Mujica strongly supports Suárez and blasts FIFA: “they went too far”
Uruguay’s president Jose Mujica blasted FIFA’s Thursday decision to fine and suspend the country’s main scorer Luis Suarez from any football activity for four months arguing the association that rules world football measures things with different rods, and since Uruguay “is a small country, it’s cheap for them”.

VENEZUELA
Let’s wiki-audit PDVSA

Venezuela blackout interrupts live-television broadcast from President Maduro
A blackout cut electricity in various parts of Venezuela on Friday and twice interrupted the live television broadcast of a speech by President Nicolas Maduro, who said authorities were seeking more information about the outage.

Venezuela seeks support for a seat at the UN Security Council
Over 40 countries backed Venezuela’s nomination to the UN Security Council in 2013

The week’s posts and podcast:
Argentina: Boudou’s voodoo may land him in the hoosgow

Immigration headlines today

Venezuela: North Korea to open embassy in Caracas

En español: Terapia intensiva #213

Did you know the IRS employees are unionized?

Ecuador whines at the UN Human Rights Council

Bolivia reduces coca production

Brazil’s Odebrecht accused of slave labor

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
O’s foreign policy, Northern Triangle edition

Podcast:
US-Latin America stories of the week

Mexican meth kingpin busted at World Cup

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Apparently he didn’t keep himself up-to-date on the latest most-wanted posters:

“He was low-profile and used real documents to enter the country because he thought that nobody was looking for him,” said [Luiz Cravo Dorea, head of international cooperation at the Brazilian Federal Police].

Mexican ‘drug lord’ arrested on way to World Cup match
Jose Diaz-Barajas arrested at Rio de Janeiro airport boarding flight to Fortaleza after booking ticket to Mexico match under his own name

Jose Diaz-Barajas, 49, was attempting to board a flight to Fortaleza, where Mexico was due to play hosts Brazil on Tuesday night, when he was arrested at Rio de Janeiro’s Tom Jobim airport on Monday.

Fifa had passed on information regarding Diaz-Barajas’s ticket purchases to Brazilian police following an Interpol arrest warrant, said Luiz Cravo Dorea, head of international cooperation at the Federal Police.

He entered Brazil over land from Paraguay (surprise surprise!) on June 11.

Today’s Google doodle: Boca

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Argentina’s not playing today, but the doodle plays (pun!) homage to the conventillos of Buenos Aires’s Boca neighborhood:

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The World Cup week Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 16th, 2014

LatinAmerYes, the World Cup is front-page news on every newspaper in the hemisphere.

More important news: Santos was re-elected in Colombia.

ARGENTINA
Argentine VP Defends Self Before Judge in Corruption Case

BERMUDA
Guantanamo Uighurs Stranded in Bermuda

BOLIVIA
Don’t tell Maureen Dowd, ‘Coca’ cake for UN chief: Bolivia gives Ban a birthday treat

BRAZIL
How Brazil’s Hubris Jeopardized Its World Cup

5 pieces of World Cup hosting advice for Brazil

Comparing Brazilian states with countries
Brazil’s closest matches

CHILE
Bachelet’s Education Reforms Fall Short, Chilean Students Say

Chile: Patagonia Dams Rejected

COLOMBIA
For war-weary rebels, Colombia invites defections with comforts and kindness

Colombia poised for knife-edge presidential election

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica seizes 4 tons of cocaine at sea

CUBA
Cy Tokmakjian Canadian fears foregone verdict in Cuban court

Four people found murdered in Cuba

Note From the Pro-Cuba, Anti-Castro Lobby

ALICIA ALONSO IS SHOCKED!

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Stateless people in Dominican Republic hope to regain citizenship

ECUADOR
Ecuador Breaks Its Amazon Deal

EL SALVADOR
Central America Newspapers Tout Open US Door for Illegal Minors

IMMIGRATION
JAN BREWER: MS-13 GANG MEMBERS COULD BE CROSSING BORDER WITH CHILDREN; I’d actually be surprised if they weren’t.

FOREIGN POLICY
Fundamentally changing America by emboldening dictators: Obama’s Budget Fails Democracy Promotion Abroad
The administration is proposing to remove language from next year’s budget that would safeguard American foreign aid from repressive foreign leaders.

The proposed removal from the administration’s budget and appropriations request for next fiscal year of a provision instructing the Secretary of State not to seek the prior approval of host governments when funding nonprofits and civil society groups overseas is infuriating American democracy-promotion and human-rights activists, who argue the omission marks a retreat in U.S. leadership.

They warn the Obama administration is in effect signaling to repressive regimes that they can dictate where U.S. democracy-promotion and human rights money goes in their countries—a problem the provision introduced a decade ago was meant to combat.

MEXICO
BIKERS RIDE TO MEXICO TO FREE JAILED MARINE

NICARAGUA
Nicaragua shakedown like highway robbery

PANAMA
Panama Canal chief says new locks operational by January, 2016

PERU
After Eight Decades, Sweden Returns Textile Artifacts to Peru

PUERTO RICO
The results of the welfare state: Some 68% of Babies in Puerto Rico Born to One-Parent Households

VENEZUELA
What leaving Venezuela means to Jews

Venezuelan Government Tightens Noose Around Its Citizens

Can we get a grand unified theory of political physics for Venezuela?

Venezuela: The Protesters’ Power Is Rising

TalCual: Repression vs. Inflation
On Tuesday, a group comprised by 9 human rights NGOs released their own figures. These showed that Nicolás Maduro has repressed 485% more than his predecessor, while inflation may exceed 70% by the end of this yea
r

The week’s posts and podcast:
Immigration: And I still ask, who’s organizing this?

En español: El Foro de Sao Paulo, creación de Castro y da Silva

Mexico: Drug gangs with tanks attack shale wells

Brazil: #WorldCup inaugural today

Venezuela: Tricks for bucks, Trix from Doral

Brazil: Who made out from the #WorldCup money?

Ecuador: The bond and pony show

At Da Tech Guy:
The case for harmless escapism

Immigration and the new vulnerabilities of fundamental transformation

Podcast:
Kids on the US-Mexico border & other US-Latin America stories of the week

Colombia: The #WorldCup team won; will Santos? UPDATED

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

UPDATE:

Earlier today,

Today’s Colombia’s run-off election.

2014 World Cup: Colombia beats Greece 3-0 in Group C opener.

Pres. Santos thinks it’ll get him another term:
Colombian Leader Sets Goal: Win Soccer Match, Then Win Presidency
President Juan Manuel Santos, Whose Job Is at Stake in a Sunday Election, Hopes for a Political Assist from His World Cup Team.
I don’t quite get the logic, but apparently it has to do with the thought that larger turnout would favor Santos,

Political strategists say a Colombian victor [sic] against Greece on Saturday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, could generate a broad feel-good moment for Colombia, drive higher voter turnout the next day and tip the scales in Mr. Santos’s favor over his rival, Óscar Iván Zuluaga.

That’s assuming that

  1. The fans are not hungover, and they’ll want to go out and vote, and 
  2. The fans are not staying home or at the sports bar or sports club watching whatever other game may be on:
  3. Ricardo Rodríguez, a soccer-loving doorman from Bogotá, is one fan who plans to forgo voting Sunday. “It’s a thousand times better to see soccer than to go out to vote,” he said.

I don’t know enough of Colombian political thinking to guess whether the average Joe conflates the soccer team with “team Santos”, if at all.

We’ll find out later this evening.


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…