Scientists in Japan say the Brazuca 2014 World Cup ball will be less erratic than the Jabulani used at South Africa 2010. The Brazuca is the 12th World Cup match ball designed by Adidas. The Jabulani was criticized for its light weight and unpredictability.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff ordered the Army, which already occupies several of the favelas (shanty towns) in Rio do Janeiro to move in and take responsibility for airports and hotels that will be hosting the 32 national teams competing for the World Cup.
Brazilian World Cup host city Manaus has declared a state of emergency as the waters of an Amazon River tributary swell, although officials say they do not expect it to flood.
Fifty police officers from the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo were recently trained in crowd control strategies, the use of force, and more by the FBI. The upcoming FIFA World Cup was the driving force behind organizing the five-day workshop. Other topics addressed include decision making, interacting with media, and use of intelligence in identifying acts of vandalism.
Brazil's World Cup squad were forced to avoid a group of 200 striking teachers on Monday as they headed for their tournament base camp against a backdrop of public anger over the cost of staging the event.
President Dilma Rousseff hit back over the weekend at criticism voiced by former soccer star Ronaldo over mishandled preparations for the World Cup. In an interview with Reuters Ronaldo lamented that many infrastructure projects promised for the tournament were significantly delayed, scaled-down, or canceled, while some stadiums remain unfinished just over two weeks from kick-off.
FIFA has told fans buying World Cup tickets from unauthorized sellers that they could be barred from stadiums. Three weeks from the opening match, FIFA said yesterday that it “cancels tickets discovered as illegally sold or re-sold with the bearers risking not being permitted entry.” FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil said some fans have already been affected.
If the recent protests and demonstrations across Brazil prior to the World Cup are any indication of the domestic and public violence that is expected to happen, fans, of all nationalities must be cautious, as the Brazilian military police has warned.
Brazil faced new protests and strikes Friday as bus drivers continued their walkout in Sao Paulo's suburbs and Rio de Janeiro braced for demonstrations 20 days from the World Cup.
Uruguay and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is resting at home following a Thursday early morning arthroscopy, and should be back with recuperation exercises as early as next week, according to the latest sanitary report from the Uruguayan Football Association medical team.