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Football: Four jets to follow Ronaldo at World Cup

Four executive jets carrying Cristiano Ronaldo's family and entourage will follow the Portuguese star around at the World Cup, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) said Friday. "Cristiano Ronaldo (and the squad) will arrive and be accompanied by a plane carrying 200 members of the Portuguese press, as well as four executive jets carrying his family," Colonel Ary Bertolino, FAB navigation center head, told reporters. The Portugal squad will arrive at Campinas, their base in Sao Paulo state, on June 7.

FIFA says impasse resolved over Corinthians stadium

By Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - A financial impasse that has threatened to cause more delays at Sao Paulo's World Cup stadium has been resolved, FIFA said on Friday. Soccer's governing body also denied media reports that 800 flights could be re-routed or cancelled during the month-long tournament in Brazil due to airspace restrictions near airports in the host cities.

FIFA has $1.4 billion cash pile to fall back on

(Reuters) - FIFA has increased its cash pile to $1.432 billion after making a profit again last year, justifying the sum as a safety net should a World Cup have to be canceled. Income from television rights and marketing deals ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil helped to drive up revenues to $1.386 billion, world soccer's governing body said on Friday, reporting a surplus of $72 million last year.

Football: FIFA accepts 'some responsibility' over Qatar World Cup workers

FIFA on Friday accepted "some responsibility" over the welfare of migrant workers constructing venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but acknowledged it was powerless to intervene. "We have some responsibility but we cannot interfere in the rights of workers," FIFA president Sepp Blatter reminded a press conference in Zurich. The energy-rich Gulf emirate has been under mounting pressure to improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers building the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure for the 2022 tournament.

FIFA boss to tour Brazil amid WCup construction delays

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke will visit Rio de Janeiro next week, with less than 100 days to go until the World Cup and three stadiums still not finished. FIFA's web page said the visit will provide a final chance for organizers to give an update on preparations for the month-long tournament beginning June 12. Of 12 stadiums that will host games, three are not yet finished: in Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Cuiaba.

Romario, Ronaldo deepen Cup rift

Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Romario on Thursday deepened their World Cup rift by indulging in a second slanging match in four days. Having Monday accused his fellow world champion of being to blame for the absence to date of promised free tickets for handicapped fans, Romario this time opened up with both barrels on the cost of renovating the Maracana. "In relation especially to the World Cup, we are on opposite sides" of the debate, said Romario, now a lawmaker whereas Ronaldo is on the event's Local Organization Committee (LOC).

FIFA committee members interviewed by ethics chief

ZURICH (Reuters) - Members of FIFA's executive committee are being interviewed by ethics chief Michael Garcia, who is investigating the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. "We can confirm that the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee is currently in Zurich and is also interviewing some of the FIFA Executive Members as part of his on-going work," FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA committee members interviewed by ethics chief

ZURICH (Reuters) - Members of FIFA's executive committee are being interviewed by ethics chief Michael Garcia, who is investigating the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. "We can confirm that the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee is currently in Zurich and is also interviewing some of the FIFA Executive Members as part of his on-going work," FIFA said in a statement.

Amnesty calls on FIFA to address Qatar workers' rights

DOHA (Reuters) - Amnesty International is calling on world soccer's governing body FIFA to address the issue of migrant workers' abuse in Qatar during its meeting later this month, the rights group said in a statement on Wednesday. Pressure on Qatar, which is hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup, increased after a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper in September found that dozens of Nepali construction workers had died and that laborers were not given enough food and water. Officials from Qatar and Nepal denied the report.

Football: Former FIFA boss paid millions by Qataris - report

A former senior official of FIFA and his family were paid almost $2 million (£1.2m) from a Qatari firm liked to the Gulf state's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup finals, according to a report in Tuesday's edition of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper. The Telegraph said Jack Warner, the former vice-president of FIFA, appeared to have been personally paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari official shortly after the controversial decision to award the country the tournament.
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