World Cup stadium unsafe
Construction will only resume at Sao Paulo’s World Cup stadium once it is safe for workers, the Brazilian government said on Tuesday, three days after a fatal accident. Arena de Sao Paulo, which hosts the opening match of the tournament between Brazil and Croatia on June 12, had already been lagging badly behind schedule prior to the latest accident, which resulted in the third death there since work began. “We shall only free the site [for continued work] once worker conditions are guaranteed secure,” Brazilian Ministry of Work spokesman Luiz Antonio Medeiros told Globo News. “There are serious worker security problems.” The venue had already been the scene of two deaths in November last year when a crane collapsed and on Saturday another worker died after falling 8m while installing temporary seating. There have been seven deaths at Brazilian World Cup venues — three others in the north at Manaus and another in the capital, Brasilia.
Cahill injury not serious
International midfielder Tim Cahill will be out for two weeks after a hamstring injury proved less serious than thought, his club manager said, ending fears the injury could force him out of the World Cup. The 34-year-old was forced off in the 29th minute of the New York Red Bulls’ Major League Soccer clash against Chivas USA at the weekend. It was initially feared that he had torn his hamstring, which would have left him racing to be fit for the global showpiece. However, tests on Monday confirmed it was only a strain and Red Bulls manager Mike Petke hoped to have him back in two weeks. “What were looking at is a mild hamstring strain,” Petke told the team’s Web site on Tuesday. “I could say that I hope to have him back in two weeks, but for now it looks like he will be out next weekend with a hamstring strain.” The lack of serious injury will be welcome news to Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.
Mujica, clubs agree deal
President Jose Mujica has agreed to restore police protection to domestic matches, provided clubs sign a FIFA agreement that deducts points from those involved in hooligan violence. Mujica met on Tuesday with first-division club officials to finalize the arrangement. “The clubs will vote on it this week,” said Homero Guerrero, the presidential secretary. Mujica withdrew police protection from the home stadiums of popular clubs Penarol and Nacional on Thursday last week after Nacional fans injured 40 police officers in post-game violence the night before. The entire executive committee of the Uruguay Football Association resigned on Monday in the wake of Mujica’s suspension of police protection.
Boavista back in top flight
Former champions Boavista will return to an expanded 18-team top flight next season, the league’s governing body announced on Tuesday. The decision means only the bottom team in this season’s 16-team top division are to be relegated, with the top two sides in the second tier coming up. In addition, the third-placed team goes into a playoff against the 15th-placed club in the top flight to decide the final place in the expanded championship. The Oporto-based club were relegated to the second tier in 2007-2008 due to financial difficulties following their involvement in a corruption scandal. Boavista appealed and the Portuguese Football Federation ruled in their favor in February last year.