Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2013 Contents A54
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, December 21, 2013
MARRAKECH---After sweeping aside Ronaldinho
and Atletico Mineiro, Moroccan club Raja Casablan-
ca is now trying to figure out how it can stop Bayern
Munich in today s Club World Cup final.
Raja surprised many by reaching the final, and is
now one win from becoming the first club from out-
side Europe and South America to win the continental
"We will need the best of us to (win)," Raja coach
Faouzi Benzarti said through a translator. "We know
the character of the German teams. We should not
let them attack us all the time."
Struggling in the domestic league, Raja hired Ben-
zarti in the buildup to the tournament. The Tunisian,
who has been coaching in north Africa since the
1970s, has since guided the club to three straight
While the host club is certainly in good form after
beating Brazilian club Atletico in the semifinals,
Bayern is looking to finish off 2013 with a record-
breaking fifth trophy.
The Germans have already won the Champions
League, Bundesliga, German Cup and UEFA Super
Bayern beat Asian champion Guangzhou Evergrande
of China 3-0 in the semifinals, while Raja defeated
Atletico Mineiro 3-1.
"Everyone expected Atletico Mineiro to make the
final. No one, not even here in Morocco, thought
Casablanca would make it," Bayern chairman Karl-
Heinz Rummenigge said. "It s a surprise to everyone,
Bayern s attack will likely be the key to Saturday s
match at Marrakech Stadium.
The German club held 72 per cent of the possession
with 13 shots on goal against Guangzhou despite
missing the injured Arjen Robben and Bastian Schwe-
In their absence, Franck Ribery, Mario Goetze and
Thiago Alcantara guided the attack of an offense that
looked similar to coach Pep Guardiola s time at
Raja gets ready for
Bayern in Club WCup final
Barcelona, although with more direct passes and
Raja has also shown it can play attacking football,
exposing Atletico s lumbering centre backs in the
After the match, Ronaldinho was mobbed by Raja
players, who stripped him of his jersey and football
boots for mementos.
In the final against Bayern, Raja will have plenty
of support from the home crowd and a coach with
nothing to lose. (AP)
SAO PAULO---Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke
insisted yesterday that no compromises have been
made on workers safety as organisers try to overcome
construction delays at World Cup stadiums in Brazil.
After the deaths of three workers in less than a month,
Valcke said that safety remains paramount for World
"With all deadlines in mind, there will and have not
been any compromises in terms of safety and secu-
rity---a matter which is always top priority for workers,
players and fans equally," Valcke said in his monthly
column published on Fifa s Web site.
A worker fell 115 feet (35 metres) to his death while
working on a roofing structure in the jungle city of
Manaus last Saturday, and in late November two workers
were killed when a crane collapsed in the stadium that
will host the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo on June
12.None of the six stadiums that had to be delivered
by the end of the year, as requested by Fifa, will be
ready on time. Even more delays are expected because
of the recent accidents in construction sites. Six other
stadiums were ready for the Confederations Cup this
There is still no timetable for the Arena Amazonia
in Manaus, and the venue in Sao Paulo is not expected
to be ready for test events until April, two months before
it has to host the opener between Brazil and Croatia.
"All the other five will have hosted the first of at least
three test events within the first three months of 2014,"
Valcke praised how Brazil organised the World Cup
draw this month, but said that with the event already
in the past, it s time to start putting the finishing touches
to the tournament preparations. (AP)
Valcke: No compromises
for safety in Brazil venues
Ribery of France
and himself prior
to a last training
session at the
Club World Cup
will face Raja
the final today.
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