Saturday Kickoff: Sao Paulo stadium behind schedule; Man City, PSG sanctioned; and more

SaoPauloStadiumItaquerao4-2014 (AP)

By DAN KARELL

The 2014 World Cup will kickoff in an unfinished stadium.

According to a report in the Associated Press, Sao Paulo’s Itaquerao stadium is so far behind schedule that glass panels in the stadium’s roof will not be installed in time by the first kick of a ball at the World Cup. The report states that it was not a FIFA requirement for this aspect of the stadium to be finished in the first place, but it is part of the overall designs.

Construction company Odebrecht said that fans wouldn’t be affected by the missing roof cover though it could mean that fans could feel more of the elements if it rains or is windy. The company also confirmed that the construction would be completed after the World Cup.

Sao Paulo’s stadium has faced a multitude of delays due to three deaths at the work site in the last nine months and issues of work safety. It’s one of three World Cup stadiums that is still unfinished as of now. The Itaquerao will host five games including the opener and a semifinal match.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Saturday:

MAN CITY, PSG SANCTIONED AND FINED HEAVILY BY UEFA FOR FFP FAILURES

They weren’t banned from European competition, but UEFA certainly brought the hammer down on both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain for breaching Financial Fair Play protocols.

Man City and PSG earned the strongest punishments from UEFA out of the nine teams that negotiated “settlement agreements.” According to UEFA documents, both Man City and PSG have been fined €60 million each, with €40 million suspended depending on both clubs meeting future financial goals.

The sanctions also include both clubs being only allowed to register a maximum of 21 players instead of the standard 25 for the next three years, though that number can return to 25 if they meet financial criteria. Man City and PSG also must meet a break even deficit in the year ending in 2014 of a €20 million deficit, and a €10 million deficit in 2015.

Both clubs have also agreed to curb transfer spending in the next two seasons, including this summer.

In terms of the €60 million fines, it’s not so much fines as revenue from UEFA competitions withheld.

Other teams sanctioned and fined included Zenit St. Petersburg, Levski Sofia, Galatasaray, and Anji Makhachkala.

FALCAO RETURNS TO TRAINING, UNLIKELY TO MAKE WORLD CUP SQUAD

Radamel Falcao returned late this week to training with AS Monaco, but his hopes to make the World Cup squad could finally be over.

As he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered on Jan. 22, Falcao was included in Colombia’s 30-man preliminary squad for tournament but it always seemed unlikely that he could recover in time to play in the World Cup. L’Equipe reports that a statement from the Colombian National Team medical staff will be made in the coming days and that Falcao has scheduled a press conference in Colombia on Tuesday.

Falcao, 28, scored nine goals in 13 World Cup qualification games including two second half penalty kick goals in a wild 3-3 tie with Chile that qualified Colombia for the World Cup in Brazil.

QUICK KICKS

Inter Milan have decided not to give new contracts to Diego Milito and Estaban Cambiasso, ending their long associations with the club. (REPORT)

Liverpool are looking into signing Southampton defender Dejan Lovren, Bayern Munich midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, and Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has admitted that he’d like to return to AC Milan some day. (REPORT)

VfL Wolfsburg are considering making a €30 million bid for AS Roma youngster Mattia Destro. (REPORT)

Sao Paulo head coach Muricy Ramalho said that his squad will not be allowed to visit Disney World on a summer training camp trip in Orlando. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Should the World Cup opener have been moved to a finished stadium? Do you agree with the punishments to PSG and Man City? Do you think they’re too harsh? Not harsh enough?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA World Cup, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Saturday Kickoff: Sao Paulo stadium behind schedule; Man City, PSG sanctioned; and more

  1. Bach's Thumb says:

    The IOC is going to seriously regret giving this corrupt, incompetent country the Olympics. London here we come.

    • Rob says:

      The IOC is as corrupt as any organization in the world.

      • Bach's Thumb says:

        That’s not going to change the fact that Brazil is corrupt and incompetent.

        • Brad C says:

          Articles have stated it’s the immense red-tape that has held construction back. City, State, Federal bureaucracies all over-lapping and imposing costs…

      • bh ring says:

        IOC and FIFA are probably two of the most corrupt organizations that are primarily based in developed countries.

    • Brad C says:

      It’s Rio that is in charge of the olympics, not the whole country.

  2. Byrdman says:

    How does fining the lavish clubs 60 or 20 million euros do anything to even the playing field. It appears that all it does is fill the Uefa board’s account. I am relatively new to following the game, but i view this very similar to the luxury tax in baseball. The rich are so rich they don’t care. Am i wrong here?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      i could very easily be way off, but i’m ok with this (though not on the ffp thing, in general) because i believe this is the “first offense” penalty. if clubs are repeat offenders, *then* we’ll see them eventually get barred from competition.

      no evidence for that, of course; just what i’m hoping is the case.

  3. ZTom says:

    Only 26 days to go now…..

    Here is the only article I can find on any of our 3 venues. This is about the 2nd venue, Manaus. Some good photos in there of the stadium and around Manaus.

    link to dailymail.co.uk

    A couple of things are already bothering me about the USMNT camp. One, is it’s known that anyone who gets tattoos (much less published selfies of themselves getting em like Howard did
    recently and others) are seeking attention for themselves, let’s call it narcissism.

    Klinsi has allowed this camp to be turned into a media circus, with ESPN doing a 6 part series (one installment per week) and also a one hour program on Showtime, all featuring our tatted up “superstars” blathering on and on about “they selves” in the most sickening manner. (for previews, go to ussoccer.com). No player, imho, should feel that they are guaranteed a national team shirt, but that’s exactly what Klinsi allowed to happen when he anointed his “core 5,” who surprise surprise are the ones running “they” mouths: Lazy, Dempsey, Bardley, JJ, Tim “what’s past is past” Howard. What a joke.

    Then, the location of this camp, no humidity, no rain, Palo Alto, Cali. Really, Gulati? As the article I linked shows, it’s raining alot in Manaus and there is a good chance we will be playing, if not in the rain, but on a wet field. I know we’re going to Florida for a week or so, but the main camp is in Cali and more opposite conditions of what is in Manaus, I can’t imagine.

    Don’t even get me started on the Germericans in Camp Klinsi, 6 of em, really Klinsi?

    • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

      Is the “Z” for Zanax?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      could’ve used a little more effort on the xenophobia (racism?), but overall, a solid effort at consolidating the troII comments.

    • Chris says:

      Get over yourself.

      Also, the miniseries is fantastic. Pull the stick out your butt and go outside and enjoy the weather, pal.

  4. solles says:

    whatever, its Brazil. Too much is made of the lateness of things. The Maracana wasnt even done before the 1950 world cup, its just the way things are there.

  5. beto says:

    Right..

    “though it could mean that fans could feel more of the elements if it rains or is windy”

    ..a little wind or rain is the least of worries here. Does the roof stand up? As long as the stadium doesnt fall over we should be good.

  6. Brad C says:

    I’m going to Brazil for 4 games. I’ll be happy as long as I can get to the game by the start and have a safe place and clear view of the game…