South American Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: Three Brazil stadiums behind schedule; Xolos hire Farias; and more

CuritibaStadiumBrazilWorldCup1 (Getty)


Three of the 12 World Cup stadiums are expected to be delivered well after the Dec. 31 deadline set by FIFA.

Following a deadly work accident last Wednesday in Sao Paulo, construction on the Arena Corinthians is back underway and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valke believes that it could be finished in three months. However, two of the other stadiums in Manaus and Curitiba are way behind schedule.

“Two stadiums will be delivered more in the region of February than in January or December,” Valcke told the AP. “Curitiba is the one where we are facing the most problems. Clearly, Curitiba will not be delivered before the end of February 2014, so that’s a fact.”

FIFA has extended the deadline for the completion on their stadiums a number of times, and only two of the six used for the Confederations Cup last summer were finished by their original deadline. Currently, though FIFA has taken ticket applications for next summer’s World Cup, they still don’t know exactly how many tickets will be available, potentially leaving fans out in the cold.

Valke also confirmed that despite the accident, the World Cup opener will still be played in Sao Paulo.

Here are some more stories to start your Wednesday:


With such an international squad, it makes sense that Club Tijuana would again look abroad for a new coach.

After parting ways with Jorge Almiron on Nov. 10, Xolos took their time to make a decision and finally announced on Tuesday that 40-year-old Cesar Farias is the new head coach for the Clausura campaign. Farias only recently stepped down from his post as manager of the Venezuelan national team, where he led them from being a perennial minnow to a team that nearly piqued Uruguay for fifth place in South American World Cup qualifying.

Farias, for all his accomplishments at the international level, hasn’t coached a club side since 2006 and never won any titles. So it’s certainly a risk taken by Club Tijuana to replicate the success from Argentine manager Antonio Mohamed, who is widely reported in Mexican media to take over at Club America for the soon-departing Miguel Herrera.


Eight defenders who met at the Confederations Cup final have been included on the twenty-man shortlist for defenders on the FIFA/FIFPro World XI.

Brazil’s David Luiz, Thiago Silva, and Dani Alves were all included, as were Spain’s Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos. Others to make the final list included Bayern Munich duo Dante and Jerome Boateng, Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic, and Everton’s Leighton Baines.

The four members of the FIFPro World XI will be announced on Jan. 13, 2014, in Zurich, Switzerland.


Vincent Enyeama picked up his 11th consecutive shutout as Lille continues to roll over opponents in Ligue 1.

Lille topped rival Olympique Marseille on Tuesday evening at home, 1-0, keeping pace with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 and continuing an incredible run of 11 games without conceding a goal. Lille has lost just once in 13 of their last 14 matches. Goalkeeper Enyeama meanwhile now has a French league record to himself, having gone 1035 minutes without conceding a goal.


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that captain Thomas Vermaelen is unhappy on the bench but that Wenger doesn’t expect him to leave in January. (REPORT)

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol had fluid drained from his bothersome knee on Tuesday after missing last Sunday’s defeat to Athletic Bilbao. (REPORT)

Juventus has been fined €5,000 by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for discriminatory chants from the 12,000 children who were invited to sit in the Ultras section that had been closed to adults. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain have decided that forward Ezequiel Lavezzi won’t leave on loan in January but winger Lucas Moura can, with Juventus and Inter Milan fighting it out for the young Brazilian. (REPORT)

Former Portugal international Ricardo Quaresma is set to return to FC Porto and sign a two-year deal after being released from his contract with Al Ahli in the UAE. (REPORT)

Chelsea and Arsenal are tracking the progress of 18-year-old PSG starlet Adrian Rabiot. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you see the three stadiums being delivered on time? Worried that the World Cup opener could change venues? Like the signing of Farias by Xolos?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Nate Dollars

    ‘discriminatory chants from the 12,000 children who were invited to sit in the Ultras section in place of the regular ones who had been banned.’

    lol what the hell


    • Chupacabra

      Leave it to Karell to misreport this. The Ultras were banned for making discriminatory chants. The fine was for the kids making “offensive” chants – basically they said the word “merda” whenever the opposing team’s goalkeeper took a goal kick. Wonder how they would respond to what Mexican and Spanish team fans say, or even the YSA chant at MLS matches.


  • Phantom

    How exactly did Venzuela almost “pique” Uruguay for the quailfying spot?

    pique (pk)
    A state of vexation caused by a perceived slight or indignity; a feeling of wounded pride.

    tr.v.piqued, piqu·ing, piques
    1. To cause to feel resentment or indignation.

    2. To provoke; arouse: The portrait piqued her curiosity.

    3. To pride (oneself): He piqued himself on his stylish attire.


  • ManicMessiah

    The problem with building stadiums in countries where the infrastructure also needs to be built is that time crunches always lead to cutbacks. By world cup time, the stadiums will be finished and the infrastructure will be reduced to make up time. So the thing that would have helped the country more will suffer.

    This isn’t meant as a knock on Brazil, just the situation that always pops up during these high profile events.


  • Paul

    “Gianpaolo Tosel has fined Juventus €5000 for the abuse which the “very young” Bianconeri fans hurled at Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic at Juventus Stadium on Sunday afternoon”

    Wow..they start them young! It’s all taught. I just hope people do not judge an entire country by the actions of a very small, but vocal subset. I have quite a few Italian friends from Modena, Venice and Milan, and this does not allude to the kind of the people they are. That being said, this does speak about the football culture in Italy. As bad as the UK was in the 70’s and 80’s, at least they took harsh steps to curb in the behavior much unlike Italy and FIFA nowadays.


  • bottlcaps

    Almiron was a turd in the Xolo’s punchbowl, the players did not like him and he took exception to certain players for no reason. He virtually exiled Joe Corona from the first team despite the fact that many of the players on the team said he was the best at practice. He did this to some Mexican players too, and that’s why he’s gone.

    You have to give the owners of the Xolos some creds for going abroad for a coach, this is not usually done in Liga MX, but the success of the Argentinian for the Xolos, reinforced the idea that the Xolos having many Americans and players from other countries is not your normal Liga MX team.


  • el paso tx

    Lucky brazil, they will end up with top soccer stadiums and their thriving economy might just make their soccer league even better than now.


  • slowleftarm

    I think the only solution to the stadium problems in Brazil is to move the WC to the US (and move the US into pot 1 for the draw). Let’s do it!


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