Tuesday Kickoff: Deadline looming for Curitiba; Mourinho takes shot at Barcelona; and more

ArenadaBaixadaCuritiba3 (Reuters)

By DAN KARELL

FIFA’s last deadline for Brazil’s World Cup stadiums to be ready has finally arrived.

With members of each of the 32 qualified nation’s technical staffs meeting this week in Florianopolis, FIFA’s staff will be in Curitiba to announce on Tuesday whether the southern Brazilian city will indeed remain a host city. The stadium construction has fallen way behind schedule and contractors have been in a race against time to get the venue ready for action.

The Arena da Baixada in Curitiba is currently scheduled to host four group stage games including a match between Spain and Australia.

Despite making a number of threats to remove the venue from the World Cup, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said he is confident the venue will be ready in time.

Here are some more stories to start your Tuesday:

MOURINHO BACKS MAN CITY TO BEAT BARCELONA

Manchester City haven’t had much success in the UEFA Champions League in recent years but Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho thinks that could change against Barcelona.

Speaking to ITV on Tuesday, Mourinho said that the current Barcelona squad is the worst one he’s seen in “many many years,” and liked Man City’s chances to earn a positive result in the highly-anticipated match.

“Of course by history Barcelona is the favorite, but this Barcelona, this season, is showing that it is not the same in previous years,” Mourinho told ITV. “Of course, they have [Lionel] Messi – he is special – and they have more than him. But I think this is the worst Barcelona of many, many years.”

Mourinho formerly coached and worked as a translator at Barcelona under Bobby Robson from 1996-2000.

QUICK KICKS

England manager Roy Hodgson has told fans and the press not to write his side’s chances off before the 2014 World Cup. (REPORT)

CSKA Moscow, Apollon Limassol, and the Serbian FA have all been sanctioned by UEFA for racist offenses during games last fall. (REPORT)

Manchester United sent scouts to watch Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala last Sunday. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid have signed midfielder Raul Garcia to an extension through 2018. (REPORT)

Palmeiras head coach Gilson Kleina has backed forward Alan Kardec to take the injured Fred’s place in Brazil’s squad for their upcoming friendly at South Africa. (REPORT)

Juventus have agreed to play former star Alessandro Del Piero and the A-League All Stars in an exhibition match on August 10 in Sydney. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see FIFA pulling Curitiba from the World Cup schedule? How would that affect future World Cups if they did so? Do you agree with Mourinho’s comments?

Share your thoughts below.

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21 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Deadline looming for Curitiba; Mourinho takes shot at Barcelona; and more

  1. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Important Read link to theguardian.com

    The Nepalese make up 20% of the work for in Qatar’s preparation for the 2022 WC. There have to been accounts deaths of the other impoverished ppl of other countries but the numbers could already be in the few thousands

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      Important Read link to theguardian.com

      The Nepalese make up 20% of the work force in Qatar’s preparation for the 2022 WC. 400 Nepalese have been reported dead. There have to been NO accounts to the deaths of the other impoverished ppl of other countries that make up the other 80% of the the work force. Their could already be deaths numbered in the few thousands

      Retweet article and post on FB to help spread awarness and stop the WC in Qatar

      • slowleftarm says:

        Hi. Please stop spamming this site. Thanks.

        • Kingsly Alexander says:

          Important Read link to theguardian.com

          The Nepalese make up 20% of the work force in Qatar’s preparation for the 2022 WC. 400 Nepalese have been reported dead. There have to been NO accounts to the deaths of the other impoverished ppl of other countries that make up the other 80% of the the work force. Their could already be deaths numbered in the few thousands

          Retweet article and post on FB to help spread awarness and stop the WC in Qatar

    • Charles says:

      The World Cup is staying in Qatar. End of story.
      The best we can hope for now is that the spotlight forces Qatar to change the way they treat their workers.
      Frankly, I find it disgusting when people use these deaths as a reason why the WC should be moved to the US. As if we deserve some sort of compensation for the workers deaths.
      Pretty weak moral character.

      • Gerard D. says:

        It’s weak moral character to suggest that the World Cup be stripped from some two-bit oil-laden despots killing 10s of thousands of people to build stadiums in the middle of a desert in a country on an island with less people that most major cities and bring it to a country that SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED IT in the first place and that has all existing infrastructure to host it and make an enjoyable experience?

        That’s weak moral character? Nah.

        Weak moral character is pretending this isn’t an issue. The holy grail of our sport is literally being built by slaves.

      • timmytwoshoezzz says:

        Moving the WC to the US (or anywhere else for that matter) isn’t about compensating a rich country for the deaths of the Nepalese workers. It’s about sending a message that FIFA will not allow their sport to be built on the backs of slaves. I’m not so sure your post says as much about your moral character as it does about your intelligence (or lack thereof)

        • Charles says:

          Kind of like this country was built on the back of slaves? Got it.
          So we get the World Cup from Qatar and then what? Do you think the abuses will stop? They won’t. The workers were dying before Qatar was awarded the WC the only reason we are hearing about it now is because of it. Walking away and pretending the problem doesn’t exist won’t save a single life.
          Your willingness to sacrifice the lives of thousands of people just to host a World Cup is what human nightmares are made of.

          • Gerard D. says:

            My god the mental and apologist gymnastics to make that argument must have hurt.

            • QuakerOtis says:

              Sadder still, the lack of “gymnastics” required.

              For most people:

              This thing makes me happy, so I don’t wanna hear nuthin bout it. Don’t ask me to think, certainly not toward changing or realizing something new. Durp.

              • Charles says:

                +1
                Pressuring Qatar to change the way they treat their workers sounds like a lot of work
                Let’s just move the WC to the US instead

          • QuakerOtis says:

            This country was built by slaves; therefore, slaves everywhere… riiiiight.

  2. biff says:

    Mourinho’s comments about Barcelona seem to be yet more mind games directed at Manchester City and Manuel Pelligrini, who seems to have replaced Pep Guardiolo as Mouriho’s No. 1 enemy. In other words, if Man City beat Barcelona Mourinho will say no big deal, Barcelona not as good now as back when Mourinho at Real Madrid regularly got humiliated by Barca. And if Man City lose, Mourinho will ridicule Pelligrini for not being able to beat Barca. A win-win situation for Mourinho.

    • Tiny says:

      haha true i suppose

      • biff says:

        yeah, I think it’s true. If you do an Internet search you will see the two have a history, with Mourinho replacing Pelligrini at Real Madrid and publicly making fun of him for moving to a small team like Malaga. But now, five years later, Pelligrini is at mighty and mighty rich Man City and Mourinho is now getting scared stuffless that Pelligrini, who is pure class and a better coach than Mourinho, is going do better than Chelsea.

    • beto says:

      Yup, he is really good at pissing off people around him.. And finding ways to do that while looking good

  3. 407 says:

    Ever notice how hard it is to read a Mourinho quote without hearing his accent? If he didn’t sound like the anteater from the old Pink Panther cartoons, it’d be a little easier.

  4. Ted in MN says:

    and by sanctioned by UEFA for racist offenses do we mean charge 1/100th of their players payroll and a solid finger wagging? fighting racisim is a high priority for them by which it means following every other priority

  5. beto says:

    In other news Mourinho finally shut up when he feel alseep last night.