Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 9th 2013 Contents A42
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, October 9, 2013
SAO PAULO--- A group of about
50 protesters vandalised part of
the construction site of a World
Cup stadium and chanted anti-
FIFA slogans during an inspection
by organisers in Brazil yesterday.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome
Valcke and other officials were met
by jeering protesters when they
arrived at the construction site of
the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, a
city in Brazil s central wetlands.
The demonstrators, who were
complaining about the cost of next
year s World Cup and demanding
improvements for local citizens,
managed to gain entry to the venue
and painted messages that called
for "Less World Cup, more health
The protesters, mostly local
teachers, carried banners reading
"FIFA go home" and chanted slo-
gans from the stadium pitch---while
FIFA and government officials con-
tinued their inspection tour from
the stands. With bulldozers in the
background, the demonstrators
tried to disrupt the visit by blowing
whistles and playing drums and
"People have the right to protest,
but they should respect other peo-
ple, like the construction workers
in the stadium," Valcke said. "They
have the right to protest, but it
should be peaceful."
Brazil s Sports Minister Aldo
Rebelo and former Brazil stars
Ronaldo and Bebeto were among
those to witness the protest.
The incident came a day after
a series of violent demonstrations
in some of Brazil s largest cities,
including one by teachers seeking
better pay in Rio de Janeiro. The
Confederations Cup earlier this
year was marked by a series of
violent protests and more are
expected during the World Cup.
Because of the demonstrators
in Cuiaba, Valcke had to make the
symbolic handover of tickets to
workers at a different part of the
site. The presentation was expected
to take place at a stage set up near
where the protesters were located,
so it was moved to a room inside
The venue in Cuiaba is one of
six that needs to be completed by
the December deadline established
by FIFA, which arrived in the
country on Monday to continue
its inspection of the 12 World Cup
venues. Valcke began his trip in
the southern city of Porto Alegre.
The visit will end after a board
meeting of the local organising
committee on Thursday in Rio de
The secretary general said part
of the goal of his visit to Brazil is
to "put some pressure, to show
that we are following the project
and we are not just sitting in Zurich
and have no interest."
Football s governing body made
it clear that for the World Cup it
will not accept the same types of
delays that plagued stadium con-
struction before the Confederations
Cup this year, when only two of
the six stadiums were delivered by
the original deadline.
Valcke reiterated that, with
tickets sales already under way,
the World Cup must be staged in
all 12 cities, no matter what. He
said he was tired of people asking
whether there could be changes
because of the construction
Protesters disrupt FIFA
visit to stadium in Brazil GENEVA---FIFA ethics prosecutor
Michael Garcia expects investigations
of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids
to last well into next year.
However, Garcia s United States-
based law firm yesterday stressed the
limited mandate of his work, which
some FIFA critics hope could lead to
re-running the controversial process
which gave the 2018 World Cup to
Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar.
"It is not our role to determine the
venue or timing of the World Cup,"
said the statement from Kirkland and
Ellis LLP, adding that the probe is
"likely to extend at least several
months into 2014."
FIFA asked for a lengthy consulta-
tion period last week to consider mov-
ing the 2022 World Cup dates, after
president Sepp Blatter suggested it
was not possible to play in the searing
Qatari heat in June and July.
Qatar s big-spending bid and cam-
paign tactics have been scrutinised
ever since the December 2010 vote,
and FIFA critics question why some
members of Blatter s scandal-hit exec-
utive committee ignored clear warn-
ings about the effect of 40-plus degree
(104 Fahrenheit) desert heat on players
Garcia will file a final report to the
judging division of FIFA s ethics court
to decide on possible sanctions.
He is expected in England this week
to speak with members of its 2018
bid team, in the first of a series of
visits to the 11 countries involved in
nine separate bids.
"Members of the Investigatory
Chamber intend to speak with and
request information from represen-
tatives of every bid team that vied to
host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World
Cup," Kirkland and Ellis said. "The
fact that we request a meeting with
members of a particular bid team does
not mean that any specific allegation
has been made by or against that team
or anyone associated with it."
Leaders of the Qatar and Russia
bids said last week in Zurich, on the
sidelines of FIFA s ruling board meet-
ing, they have not yet been contacted
by Garcia s team.
Garcia s Swiss deputy, Cornel Bor-
bely, will lead the American and Russ-
ian questioning "to avoid the appear-
ance of any conflict of interest."
Qatar defeated the United States
14-8 in a final round of voting.
Russia barred Garcia, a former US
Attorney, in April in retaliation for his
previous work prosecuting a Russian
arms dealer, Viktor Bout.
Bout is serving a 25-year prison
sentence in the US.
Garcia s statement yesterday
reminded potential witnesses still
serving in official football duty that
they are obliged by the FIFA ethics
code to cooperate with his requests
for help. (AP)
Garcia details FIFA probe
of 2018-2022 WCup bids
Jerome Valcke...FIFA Secretary
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