By DAN KARELL
The World Cup is only 79 days away from kicking off, but one city may need to pull out of the competition altogether.
As cities scramble to finish some of the remaining World Cup venues, Porto Alegre faces a crucial vote that could decide the city’s fate in the tournament. After spending boatloads of public money to build the stadium, Porto Alegre mayor Jose Fortunati says that if a vote to help finance temporary structures needed for the World Cup does not pass, the city will not host any World Cup matches.
”All this equipment will be bought through this bill, which will provide the resources,” Fortunati told Radio Gaucha. ”If it’s not voted, we won’t be able to seek funding…This means that we will not have temporary structures and we will not have a World Cup. It’s simple to understand. There’s no Plan B.”
”It’s a difficult situation and it’s a concern,” Fortunati said.
FIFA has mandated that games cannot be played at stadiums without these temporary structures. The vote, which is to allow tax breaks for companies to finance the structures, has no timetable and FIFA estimates that it would take three months to complete the construction.
Estadio Beira-Rio is currently scheduled to host five matches at the World Cup, including matches with France, the Netherlands, Argentina, and Nigeria.
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PRANDELLI EXTENDS WITH ITALY THROUGH 2016
Cesare Prandelli won’t be returning to club soccer any time soon.
According to a report in Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has extended Prandelli’s contract with the Italian National Team through the 2016 European Championships. The agreement was reached in recent weeks and a formal announcement is expected soon.
“Right now I have the greatest satisfaction,” Prandelli told Gazzetta. “I’m proud of the fact that the Football Association has offered me a two-year renewal, regardless of the outcome of the World Cup and because of this I have given full availability.”
GIBBS AND OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN CLEARED BY FA
Arsenal will be able to count on both Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when they take the field on Tuesday night against Swansea City.
Both players were the subject of mistaken identity in last Saturday’s 6-0 defeat to Chelsea after referee Andre Marriner sent off Gibbs instead of Oxlade-Chamberlain. At first reports in England stated that the red card would be transferred to Oxlade-Chamberlain but on Monday evening, the FA ruled that both players had been cleared to play following an appeal from Arsenal.
GUARIN SIGNS INTER EXTENSION
After being so close to a move to Juventus, Fredy Guarin has decided to pledge his future to Inter Milan.
The Serie A club announced on Monday that Guarin had signed a new contract through June 2017. His most recent contract was due to expire in June 2016.
“I’m very happy, it’s another dream come true,” Guarin told Inter’s TV channel. “I hope to make the most of this opportunity with my family, my teammates, and all the people who stood by me.”
Guarin was part of a trade with Juventus that would have sent Mirko Vucinic to Inter in the other direction last January. The deal was just being finalized before Inter fans convinced owner Erick Thohir to pull out of the deal.
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has made a priority this summer to hold onto Angel Di Maria. (REPORT)
Manchester United will offer center back Phil Jones a new contract. (REPORT)
AS Monaco head coach Claudio Ranieri has accepted Eric Abidal back into the squad after an apology for ditching the club’s last match. (REPORT)
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that the club will sign at least two players in the summer and could still spend more than 100 million euros ($138 million). (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you think Porto Alege could pull out of the World Cup? Worried about the financial state of affairs in Brazil? Think that the FIGC made the right choice to hold onto Prandelli?
Share your thoughts below.