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Valcke comments on 2022 World Cup timing stir controversy

By Mike Collett LONDON (Reuters) - An announcement from FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would not be played in the summer created yet more controversy around the finals on Wednesday. It led to a shocked response from FIFA vice president Jim Boyce who said that only the world governing body's executive committee could decide when the World Cup would be played.

Football: Rousseff says Brazil will meet Cup challenges

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Monday insisted her giant nation would pull off a successful World Cup, swatting aside FIFA criticism that the hosts started preparing late. "We love football and so we shall proudly receive the Cup and make it the Cup of Cups," Rousseff insisted on her Twitter feed. "Demand for tickets is the biggest there has been for any Cup and that shows fans across the world have confidence in Brazil," she added.

Football: Brazil prepared 'too late' for World Cup, blasts Blatter

Brazil's continuing struggles to keep their World Cup organisation on schedule are a consequence of starting preparations too late, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Sunday. "Brazil has come to realise that they started too late. They are the country who are the most delayed (in terms of World Cup organisation) since I have been at FIFA," Blatter told Swiss newspaper 24 Hours. "Yet they are the only country who have had such a long time -- seven years -- to prepare."

Football: Brazil prepared 'too late' for World Cup, blasts Blatter

Brazil's continuing struggles to keep their World Cup organisation on schedule are a consequence of starting preparations too late, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Sunday. "Brazil has come to realise that they started too late. They are the country who are the most delayed (in terms of World Cup organisation) since I have been at FIFA," Blatter told Swiss newspaper 24 Hours. "Yet they are the only country who have had such a long time -- seven years -- to prepare."

FIFA invests $200 mn in soccer development in 2013

Madrid, Dec 18 (EFE).- FIFA said Wednesday it has invested $200 million this year in soccer-development activities involving all of its 209 member associations, including "landmark initiatives" in Somalia, Afghanistan and Palestine. The latest beneficiary of FIFA's development projects was its newest member association, South Sudan, where courses for referees and coaches were held in Juba over the past two months.

First IOC executive board meeting under newly elected president Bach being "productive"

LAUSANNE, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Executive Board of International Olympic Committee (IOC) started on Tuesday its final meeting of 2013 at its headquarters in Lausanne in a "productive" way, said the head of the committee. The executive board meeting, which would continue into December 14 in closed-door format, is also the first led by President Thomas Bach since his election in September at the 125th IOC session held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Indian compliance a major step towards lifting ban: IOC

By Karolos Grohmann LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - A last-minute decision by the banned Indian Olympic Association to comply with IOC orders is a good first step for the country's gradual return to the Olympic fold, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Tuesday. In a late act of compliance on Sunday, the IOA passed an amendment to its constitution to exclude tainted officials from office.

Football: Brazil will host "Cup of Cups" - Brazil president

Brazil will host the greatest ever World Cup football finals next June and July, President Dilma Rousseff said as Friday's draw ceremony got under way. "This will be the Cup of Cups," said Dilma, noting all eight former champions are in the 32-team line-up. Dilma joined FIFA president Sepp Blatter in welcoming the world to a Brazilian extravaganza as the event returns to the competition's most successful nation after 64 years.

Football: Homage to Mandela at World Cup draw

World Cup organizers said they would pay homage to the memory of Nelson Mandela ahead of Friday's draw, FIFA president Sepp Blatter told AFP. ""We knew he was unwell and that he was going to die," Blatter said, revealing there would be a presentation showing Mandela holding the World Cup trophy during the event in his homeland in 2010. "You will see what we shall show today, him with the World Cup in his hands. It's his happiest moment. A dream became reality when we gave the World Cup to South Africa," the head of football's governing body said.

Blatter calls for calm over Qatar 2022 problems

By Mike Collett COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (Reuters) - FIFA is working to improve the rights of workers in Qatar but everyone needs to "calm down" about the problems surrounding the 2022 World Cup, the world soccer body's president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday. A decision on whether the tournament will be moved from the steaming summer months to the winter months in nine years' time has been postponed by FIFA until after next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
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