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Tuesday Kickoff: World Cup venue in financial trouble; Prandelli extends with Italy; and more



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.

Here are some more stories to start your Tuesday:


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.”


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.


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.


  1. Oxlade handballed in the area. That’s a straight red card whether it was judged to be off target. I hate this kind of cheating for the Big 4 clubs

    • Except that isn’t the rule at all, its only a red when it denies a goal scoring chance. The ball was going wide, thus it isn’t a goal scoring chance.

  2. We have a few interesting matches on tap today.

    Man. City at Man. United
    Schalke at Dortmund
    Bayern at Hertha Berlin

  3. The reason that the red was rescinded is a handball can only be a red if it denying a clear goal scoring chance, being deliberate or not doesn’t matter. The committee determined that the ball was going to go wide and thus did not stop a goal scoring chance so the red should not have been given. I have seen some people talk about intent but that is not part of the rule and doesn’t matter at all.

  4. To think that the run-up to Russia and Qatar is going to make the problems with Brazil look like nothing is disturbing. How many thousands of slaves are already dead in Qatar?

    • True that. Qatar is a country that sees foreign workers as infidels unentitled to basic human rights.

      That being said, if the Porto Alegre remains half finished and all the money spent to date is wasted, expect to see violent protests in Brazil that make last year’s protests look like a Junior League cotillion. If there is a vote to spend even more money to finish the stadium, expect the same thing. It’s a lose-lose scenario.

      • Pretty sure this news just comes out to pressure the politicians to vote to free up the money. They won’t lose games.

      • They will lose games. FIFA has already pulled games from one site in Brazil.

        FIFA’s allowance of host behavior ends at final product damage.

  5. It wasn’t a red card anyway–and I’m glad the FA saw that. The ball was clearly going wide of the target, meaning it was not a denial of a goal scoring opportunity. It should have been a yellow in-game.

    Granted, it’s certainly fair to not expect a referee to be able to see that during live play. And Mariner made a mistake, but he did what he’s expected to you. He consulted his linesmen who also thought it was Gibbs with the handball.

  6. The “right” thing to do would have been to give AOC the red instead. Everyone in the world could see that he deserved a red card, and if the ref had been correct then AOC would have missed the Swansea game automatically. I don’t understand the appeals board decision here. Doesn’t the FA have the power to ban / red card a player even if he wasn’t given one in the game? If not, then I guess I can understand this.

    • “Doesn’t the FA have the power to ban / red card a player even if he wasn’t given one in the game? If not, then I guess I can understand this.”

      that might be the case (although they should change that), but i think it’s more likely that they saw the trajectory of the ball and decided that he was denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

  7. Di Maria played like a man possessed on Sunday. What a fantastic player. Coach Ancelotti is a smart man to hold onto him.

  8. Surprised that Oxlade-Chamberlain was not suspended. I wonder what the FAs reasoning was for that…Only thing I can think of is that it was such a major f-up on their part, and may have contributed to the pasting that Arsenal took on the weekend that they felt enough damage was done.

    • The FA judged Oxlade-Chamberlain’s hand ball to be on a shot that was wide of the goal. Because of this, it would not have been a red card. The FA reports that Marriner made two mistakes: one of identity and the other being that it should have been a yellow card.

  9. Interesting to see that the Ref who gave the wrong guy a red card wasn’t punished. Maybe all those whining and trying to defend awful decisions will go away as he is scheduled to ref a game this Saturday.

    • I don’t understand why Oxlade isn’t being punished? It was obvious from replay that he intentionally used his hand. He’s being let-off because the referee and assistant couldn’t get it right? FA has no problem using video to punish players for incidents off the ball after the fact? How about some consistency?

      • They had to rescind the red card entirely because the ball was deemed to have gone wide of the target before contact was made–therefor no longer a denial of a goal scoring opportunity.

      • It is technically correct, but I question the rationale behind the rule. Ox obviously had no idea that the ball was going wide, or else he wouldn’t have used his hand. I don’t think players should be let off the hook for that.

      • Yeah, that’s fair. I’d agree completely with you, I think, if the rule had something about “intent” in it.

        Including “intent” would probably make it harder to enforce fairly, though. I dunno. .

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