Novel use for Brazil World Cup stadium

Amid fears that many of Brazil’s World Cup venues will become white elephants when the tournament is finished, one enterprising city has proposed a novel use for their stadium.

Brazil is readying 12 stadiums for next year’s World Cup, and several — including the new stadium in Manaus — will be little used after the tournament.

Millions took to the streets to protest against the spending billions on next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in a country where many languish in extreme poverty and where spending on education and welfare is recognised as being inadequate.

Alvaro Corado, spokesman for the Amazonas state court system, told The Associated Press that Judge Sabino Marques had proposed an intriguing idea.

“He would, perhaps, suggest to the government of the state of Amazonas that the stadium be used as a processing centre for prisoners after the World Cup,” Corado said, quoting Marques.

Marques, coincidentally (or not), is also the president of a group that monitors the prison system in the state.

The new 44,000-seat stadium in Manaus, being built at a cost of $275 million, will host only four World Cup matches. The city of 2.3 million has no team in Brazil’s first or second division, and little footballing tradition.

FIFA requires only eight stadiums for the World Cup, but Brazil decided to have 12 — under pressure from politicians who used the construction projects to provide jobs and political loyalty. Bribery, in other words.

Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has defended the legacy of the stadiums as “centres for sports and non-sports events” and has suggested they would be places for conventions, shows and fairs.

Other Brazilians officials have said cities will need to be creative to find uses for the stadiums.

Jose Maria Marin, the president of the Brazilian Football Federation, said earlier this year that finding uses for some stadiums after the World Cup will “all depend on the creativity, the imagination of the owners and the operators of these stadiums. It will depend on the imagination of each leader.”

In terms of creativity and imagination, the proposal for Manaus cannot be faulted. Indeed, if there are repeats of the widespread protests that swept brazil during the Confederations Cup, then the dual purpose stadium may prove invaluable.

Besiktas chief blames security for riot

Beşiktaş president Fikret Orman has pinpointed the stadium security present for the abandonment of Sunday’s game with Galatasaray, and announced that the club has since cancelled its contract with the company hired for the game.

“We hired the stadium for 10 matches,” Orman said.

“Private security does not run away from the fans, it chases them, what we saw from them was comedy.


Albeit one that no one found remotely amusing.

“The job of the authorities in charge is to make sure people without tickets don’t get in,” Orman added.

“It is quite clear that the Olympic Stadium is not ready to host these kind of events.”

So, it was the fault of the security personnel, the authorities and the stadium. Nothing at all to do with the people who actually invaded the pitch? Really?

Mehmet Baykan from the Ministry of Sports and Youth department confirmed that there were spectators who had entered the game without tickets.

“There was a group who entered without tickets,” Baykan said.

“Three entry points were broken into, the power supply to the turnstiles and eight ticket readers were sabotaged. 65 people have been caught with equipment which could have been used to cut the cables.”

The stadium was officially at full capacity – 76,092 – however, some esitmates suggest a further 3000-10000 people had gained entrance without tickets.

The match report submitted to the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) highlighted several security failings.

The report stated that the power supply to eight turnstiles on the East and West stands were cut. The fence on the West stand was broken into and over 1000 people entered the stadium illegally.

There were minor scuffles in the second half and an attempted pitch invasion was attempted by a group of 7-10 people on 78 minutes however, the individuals involved were not detained or put under surveillance.

Beşiktaş now face a lengthy stadium ban – Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor were given five-match bans due to pitch invasions, while Galatasaray were handed a five-match suspension for throwing objects onto the pitch.

Given the volatility of the derby fixture and the complete breakdown in security during the match, it is something of a miracle that the trouble unpleasant though it was, did not result in more clashes and casualties.

Balotelli issues death threat

Milan striker Mario Balotelli reportedly threatened to kill referee Luca Branti after game against Napoli on Sunday.

The 23-year-old striker approached the referee after the last whistle and as a result was shown a red card which has cost the striker a three match ban.

According to La Stampa Balotelli reportedly said to Banti: “I will kill you, you will pay for this.”

What a charmer.

The Milan forward was thought to be furious at the referee’s decision not to award Milan another penalty kick during the game.

The club originally announced their intention to appeal against the ban, but after reading the referee’s report, they changed their mind. No wonder.

“Mario is no longer a child, he is 23 years old and he has to change,” Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. ”He is a potential champion but he has to stop certain attitudes towards referees.

”I believe Mario has enough good sense and capacity to understand that it’s an important year and that he is in a situation in which he cannot make a mistake. Until now Mario has always behaved well. Sunday he made a mistake, I hope that will serve as a lesson to him. I believe I can give him a hand, but he needs to help himself too.”

The resulting ban means Balotelli will miss the upcoming games with Bologna, Sampdoria and Juventus.

Quote of the day

“It’s not necessarily the squad players we needed, we needed one or two who might have gone in [to the team]. That will happen. But going back to that transfer window, we always said it was going to be a tough one and it was going to take a little bit more time.”

Despite having three months to work on his transfer strategy ‘Dithering’ David Moyes still needs more time to work out who he wants to sign.

Goal of the Day

A goal that his namesake would have been proud of, Mdiba Messi spots the goalkeeper off his line and smashes one in from his own half in the Menpora Cup tie between Persib Bandung and Central Coast Mariners

Did Lionel Messi really snub Barcelona coach?

Lionel Messi admitted he was unhappy at being substituted during Barcelona’s 4-1 win over Real Sociedad, but refutes media suggestions that he deliberately snubbed Martino as he was taken off.

“I didn’t mean to make any gesture when Martino took me off,” Messi said on his official Facebook page.

“Nobody likes to be out, but we must accept it because it is the best for our team. What I will not accept is that certain media tell lies about any situation that happens around me.”

The Argentinian appeared discontent after being replaced, but the head coach insists that his decision was made in the best interest of the player and the club in the long term.

“Messi never wants to be subbed off, but it’s my task to take care of him,” Martino told reporters after the match.

“We need him at end of season as well as now. My way of thinking won’t change, I repeated the whole time how I want to play, maybe this game helps some to see things clearer.

Here’s the moment when Messi was withdrawn.

Roberto Mancini tipped to replace Fatih Terim at Galatasaray

Galatasaray have sacked coach Fatih Terim after he refused the offer of a contract extension with the Turkish champions.
Terim, who has led Galatasaray during three separate spells at the club, turned down the option to extend his contract to the end of the 2015-16 season.

The Turkish boss, who is also serving as coach of the national team, was voted out during a meeting of the club’s board of directors, with the decision having immediate effect.

A statement on the club’s website said: “In spite of the decision of the Galatasaray Sports Club and the Board of Directors to extend the term of the contract with Fatih Terim for two more years as of May 2014, when Mr Terim has rejected the offer, the Board has instead decided to terminate the contract between him and the club.

“We would like to thank Mr Terim for all his services and wish him all the best in his future career.”

Terim is expected to focus on Turkey’s bid for World Cup qualification.

According to several Italian and Turkish sources, former Inter and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is already in Istanbul for negotiations over the vacancy.

Proving once again, that in the world of football management,nothing succeeds like failure.

Lewandowski confirms Bayern deal

The Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has confirmed he will sign a pre-contract agreement with Bayern Munich in January.

Lewandowski revealed his desire to join the German and European champions over the summer, but when the club refused to sell him to their biggest domestic rival, he accepted he would have to remain at Dortmund until next year when his contract expires.

The 25-year-old has reportedly already agreed terms on next summer’s switch to the Bavarian club, and he doesn’t care who knows about it.

When asked by Sport1 television channel whether he could announce his switch to Bayern, the Poland international responded: “Yes, because then I can officially sign a contract.”

Inevitably, questions will be asked of Dortmund’s handling of the affair.  Yes, a principle was at stake and yes Mario Gotze had just revealed he would be leaving to join Bayern, but in turning down a €25 million offer last summer, in the knowledge that Lewandowski could leave for nothing 12 months later, it is hard to escape the conclusion that they have bitten off their nose to spite their face.

Bastian Schweinsteiger naked in front of Angela Merkel

German chancellor Angela Merkel once caught a glimpse of a naked Bastian Schweinsteiger, according to DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach.

The German federation chief revealed the details of a dressing-room visit made by Merkel after Germany’s 4-2 win over Greece at Euro 2012.

The newly re-elected head of the German government is a big supporter of the national tream, but the 58-year-old is also known to visit the players after major victories to congratulate them.

Niersbach said that during one of her visits, Merkel “saw more of Schweini than she should have”.

“When the chancellor comes into the dressing room, they all have to be dressed – that was my job at that time,” Niersbach said, according to Bild. “We forgot one player was still in the shower.”

When questioned about the identity of the player, Niersbach replied: “Not telling! That would be embarrassing for Bastian Schweinsteiger.”

The paper then reports a similar incident following Germany’s 4-0 win over Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup, when Merkel saw Schweinsteiger naked from the waist up, celebrating the victory with a bottle of beer.

To be caught naked once may be considered chance, but twice…

Manager eater strikes again

Manager Gennaro Gattuso has been sacked by Palermo after a string of bad results in Serie B.

“It’s with great sadness that I write to say that I have relieved Gennaro Gattuso of his duties as first-team manager,” , president Maurizio Zamparini wrote on the club’s official website.

“Unfortunately for both me and him, we might have bitten off a little bit too much for his first experience as manager, at a club with a demanding public like Palermo’s. Results have shown that we were wrong (to offer Gattuso the job).”

If you think the public’s demanding, wait until you hear about the president.

Dubbed “mangiallenatori” (the manager eater), Zamparini is famous for firing coaches and has now sacked at least 26. The exact number is difficult to work out as there have been a number of interim coaches and plenty who have been reappointed after being fired.

Last season, he used three different coaches, two of them twice. He fired Gian Piero Gasperini, replaced him with Alberto Malesani for three games, then brought back Gasperini before sacking him after two matches. He eventually returned to Giuseppe Sannino, who had started the season as manager but was sacked after three matches.

Confused? Join the club.

Gattuso arrived from Sion in June after a disappointing time as player-coach last season, was fired after losing 2-1 at Bari on Tuesday.

Palermo, relegated from Serie A last season, are languishing in 12th place after winning two of their opening six games.

The club said Gattuso would be replaced by Giuseppe Iachini, who managed Siena last season until leaving after they too were relegated to Serie B.