Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 23rd 2013 Contents A65
Saturday, November 23, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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ROME--- FIFA president Sepp Blatter
backed calls from the European Union
parliament urging Qatar to stop con-
tractors from abusing migrant workers
involved in building facilities for the
2022 World Cup.
"We deplore what happened there,"
Blatter said in Rome following an audi-
ence with Pope Francis yesterday.
The EU parliament insisted on
Thursday the alleged abuses should be
Qatari organizers pledged this week
that companies building World Cup
projects will be forced to guarantee
welfare standards for workers.
Rights group Amnesty International
has cataloged how some workers in the
tiny Gulf nation are exposed to dan-
gerous working conditions, poor living
standards and the non-payment of
Blatter also took aim at the compa-
nies working on the venues.
"The big companies working there,
they are all European," Blatter said.
"The constructor is also responsible
for his workers."
The International Trade Union Con-
federation set off the growing furor two
months ago when it claimed that, with-
out changes, at least 4,000 workers
would die due to inhumane labor con-
Blatter implied the construction
companies interests played a role in
the controversial vote to award the
tournament to Qatar.
"It was political pressure from Euro-
pean countries to bring this World Cup
to Qatar, because there was so many
economic interests," he said. "Two of
these countries that made pressure on
the voting men in FIFA were France
and Germany. This is established. This
is not new information.
"It s easy to say all the responsibility
lies on FIFA. No, we are part of this
responsibility. We are now monitoring
the situation and we will come back
Blatter reiterated his desire to hold
the 22 tournament at the end of the
year, having rejected the traditional
June-July World Cup period because
of Qatar s searing desert heat.
"We are now consulting the stake-
holders --- teams, players, leagues, fed-
erations --- about the international cal-
endar, also media and marketing, to
look if it s possible to play at the end
of the year, in November-December,"
Blatter said. "I think it s advisable to
play at the end of the year."
As for next year s World Cup in Brazil,
Blatter said there was still a possibility
that midday kickoff times at tropical
venues could be moved later to avoid
intense heat and humidity there.
Blatter said he would bring up the
kickoff time questions at next month s
FIFA executive committee meeting in
"(The kickoff times) have been estab-
lished but not sanctioned," Blatter said.
"It s a very important matter." (AP)
calls from EU on
Stuttgart's Daniel Schwaab, left, and Moenchengladbach's Juan Arango
challenge for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football
match between VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Moenchengladbach Stuttgart,
Germany, yesterday. Moenchengladbach won 2-0. AP PHOTO
BARCELONA---Barcelona says midfielder Cesc Fab-
regas and defender Gerard Pique have recovered
from injuries and will be available for today s game
While the pair of Spain internationals return, mid-
fielder Xavi Hernandez will not be included in the
squad after failing to recover from a muscle strain
to his left leg.
The club also says winger Cristian Tello will miss
two more games because of ligament damage in his
Barcelona is already without forward Lionel Mess,
goalkeeper Victor Valdes, defender Jordi Alba and
defender Dani Alves.
Barcelona holds a three-point lead over Atletico
Madrid after 12 rounds, with Real Madrid trailing the
defending champions by six points. (AP)
Fabregas, Pique in
beat lowly Ajaccio 3-1
yesterday in the French
league to make up
ground in the race for a
Champions League spot.
Marseille forward Dim-
itri Payet opened the
scoring in the 27th minute
before Ajaccio defender
Grenddy Perozo leveled
with a downward header
in the 31st.
Gignac fired into the top
corner from the edge of
the box in the 39th and
Florian Thauvin scored
from close range in the
58th to seal the win.
Marseille pulled within
two points of third-place
Monaco while Ajaccio
remained in the relegation
zone. In a match pitting
two teams needing points,
tempers flared in the 17th
when Thauvin and Ajac-
cio midfielder Johan Cav-
alli received yellow cards
Marseille put the hosts
under pressure in the first
half. Gignac struck the
woodwork with a cross-
shot from the left flank
in the 10th before cutting
inside in the 21st to curl
a shot that bounced off
Ochoa saved a long-
range strike from Payet in
the 34th but was helpless
when Gignac chested
down a cross from full-
back Kassim Abdallah to
score his sixth goal this
Marseille added a third
goal in the second half
when Payet charged down
the left wing to feed
Thauvin, who flicked
home from eight yards.
The 2010 champions
had no trouble to protect
their lead despite an effort
from Cavalli in the 55th
from a tight angle and a
long-range attempt from
Goncalves in the 78th.
Today, it s: Reims vs
Evian vs Lorient; Lyon vs
vs Guingamp; Rennes vs
Bordeaux; and Sochaux
vs Bastia. Tomorrow, Lille
hosts Toulouse, Monaco
visits Nantes, and Saint-
Etienne faces Nice. (AP)
Marseille beats Ajaccio
3-1 in French league
MUNICH---Bayern Munich winger and Ballon
d Or candidate Franck Ribery says he will recover
from his rib injury in time for next month s Club
World Cup in Morocco.
Earlier, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said he
feared Ribery will be missing "for a long time,"
without being more specific.
But Guardiola also said he hoped to have Ribery
back for the Club World Cup that starts December
14 in Morocco.
Ribery cracked a rib in France s 3-0 victory
over Ukraine on Tuesday that qualified the French
for next year s World Cup in Brazil.
Bayern originally indicated that Ribery could
be back as soon as next week.
Guardiola spoke before Bayern s trip to Dort-
mund for the Bundesliga game on Saturday. Both
teams are missing several top players.
Ribery is seeking to crown an outstanding season
with the Ballon d Or award as FIFA s player of
the year. His season includes a treble with Bay-
ern---the Champions League, Bundesliga and Ger-
man Cup titles.
He could win a fourth major title in Morocco
but that will not have any bearing on the Ballon
d Or ballot, which has been extended until Novem-
ber 29. (AP)
I'll be back by Club
Wenger hopes Theo
Walcott will bring a dif-
ferent dimension to
Arsenal s attack when
the winger returns this
weekend after a two-
month layoff to recover
from an abdominal
Walcott is available for
today s home match
against Southampton as
Arsenal looks to extend
its two-point lead at the
top of the Premier
The Gunners are cur-
rently the second highest
scorers in the league but
Wenger insists Walcott
will add something extra
to his team. Wenger said
yesterday that "he can
always give you a different
option in the game and
that is of course
vital...Theo has different
qualities to other players
and I am very pleased that
he is back." (AP)
2 months out
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