IOC Praises Sochi Preps; FIFA Marks Two Years to Brazilian World Cup
Two Years to FIFA World Cup
At the two-year countdown to Brazil 2014, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says there is "rising anticipation" for the World Cup in the qualification phase.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is back in Brazil later this week. (Getty Images)
More than a third of the 820 qualifiers for the 2014 edition have now been played, including upwards of 80 in the past few days alone. Valcke believes excitement for the tournament is building around the world.
"It’s great to talk about what’s happening on the pitch, not just the preparations in the host country, which are moving forward as well," he told FIFA.com on Tuesday.
The FIFA No. 2 said the biggest surprise for him was to see tiny Tahiti qualify for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil next year, "which means that there is a new face at the tournament".
Commening on the qualification race for Brazil 2014, he added: "You can really feel already the rising anticipation especially among the South American teams who seem almost desperate to take part in the first FIFA World Cup on their own continent for 34 years. Every single team seems to be eager to show the strength of the South American continent on the global footballing landscape."
Valcke heads back to Brazil later this week for an inspection tour of the host cities for the 2013 Confeds Cup and 2014 World Cup. He will visit Brasilia and two other cities together with officials from the Ministry of Sports and Brazil legends Ronaldo and Bebeto, who are working for the local organizing committee.
On the sidelines of the FIFA Congress last month, Valcke told World Football INSIDER
, sister publication of Around the Rings
, that his relations with Brazil had been mended since his high-profile spat with sports minister Aldo Rebelo.
In March, he had blasted 2014 preparations, saying the country needed a "kick up the backside". That comment sparked outrage in Brazil and led to an apology and clear-the-air talks in Zurich on May 8 when Brazil LOC leaders, government officials and FIFA chiefs met to hammer out a new strategy to deliver the World Cup on time.
For more on the story, visit World Football INSIDER
IOC Praise for Sochi 2014 Preps
Jean-Claude Killy, the IOC Coordination Commission chief for Sochi 2014, is praising organizers of Russia's first Winter Olympics following a project review.
Coordination Commission chair Jean-Claude Killy. (ATR)
At the close of his two-day check-up of preparations with the IOC's Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli, Killy expressed satisfaction with the Olympic construction program and the way plans were coming together on accommodation and transport among other areas.
"The results are impressive," he was quoted by RIA-Novosti.
The IOC inspection included visits to several venues in the Black Sea resort as well as athletes accommodation, according to Russian media reports.
FIFA Delays Corruption Appointment
FIFA has again delayed the appointment of the prosecutor and judge for its new two-chamber ethics committee.
The announcement is now set for a July 17 meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee. The meeting had originally been scheduled for June 29. It follows postponement of the decision ahead of the May FIFA Congress in Budapest because the man first chosen was unable to take up the post due to health reasons.
FIFA declined to explain the reason for the delay in making the appointments.
For more on the story, visit World Football INSIDER
New Exec at ICSS
Malcolm Tarbitt is the new Director of Security and Risk Advisory at the International Center for Sport Security.
Malcolm Tarbitt. (ICSS)
“I am excited to be joining the ICSS and its team of world-leading security and integrity experts,” Tarbitt said. “Every sporting event requires a tailored approach and I am pleased to have the opportunity to use the knowledge that I have obtained through my years in the industry to create bespoke security solutions and, ultimately, help organizers to stage safer sporting events.”
Malcolm will lead the ICSS “Security and Risk Advisory” team to provide clients with integrated advisory services and bespoke solutions to their security requirements.
Malawi Squash Facility
Squash education in action in Malawi. (WSF)
Squash courts will be included in the new OlympAfrica Sports Center in Lilongwe, Malawi.
The announcement was made Tuesday following a recent visit by the World Squash Federation Ambassador Program.
"We have been struck by the sheer enthusiasm to build the sport here, despite not inconsiderable difficulties,” WSF CEO Andrew Shelley said.
The WSF Ambassador Program will visit Namibia on the next leg of its itinerary.
Kalmadi Touts Commonwealth Games
As part of his political comeback, Suresh Kalmadi touts his work as chief organizer of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi – for which he was also jailed for corruption.
Suresh Kalmadi was released on bail from jail in January. (ATR)
Kalmadi, who is also a long-time member of the Indian parliament and India Olympic Association President, said on Monday he was hoping to re-join the Indian National Congress. He was removed following his corruption scandal.
"I have done a lot for Indian sports," he said in his hometown of Pune, which he represents. "Because of the Commonwealth Games, infrastructure in Delhi has improved.
"I will not bring shame to the city and development of Pune will remain my priority."
Teófilo Stevenson, Three-Time Gold Medalist, 60
Teófilo Stevenson, a Cuban heavyweight boxer who won three gold medals, died of a heart attack on Monday, according to news reports. He was 60.
Teófilo Stevenson atop the heavyweight podium at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. (Getty Images)
Stevenson is considered one of the finest boxers who refused to become a professional. He won gold at the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympics and retired following the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He became only the second boxer in history with three golds, and the first heavyweight to do so.
A fight between Stevenson and Muhammad Ali was promoted but never came to fruition with Stevenson staying loyal to the Cuban regime. To this day, Cuban athletes must remain amateurs.
"I prefer the affection of eight million Cubans," he said of his decision.
IOC Clarifies Uganda Stance
The IOC says it hopes the Uganda Olympic Committee can now move forward after selecting a new president.
In an email to Around the Rings
, an IOC spokeswoman says: “The IOC took note of the outcome and results of the NOC Extraordinary General Assembly of 19 May 2012 and said that it would hope that the UOC can now focus fully and entirely on the preparation of its athletes for the Olympic Games in London.”
William Blick was elected to replace Roger Ddungu.
Written by Mark Bisson, Ed Hula III and Hannah Reid.
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