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Football: Brazil 'at full speed' to deliver World Cup -- FIFA

FIFA said Friday that Brazil was working flat-out to deliver the World Cup on time but warned that much work lay ahead before the June 12 kick-off. General Secretary of FIFA, Jerome Valcke, stressed there was still "a lot of work to do" after his latest trip to the host country that took in visits to three stadiums -- Manaus, Brasilia and Porto Alegre. "We are far beyond the normal speed limit you can have on the road and this will be the case until June," Valcke said. "We are working at full speed," he said, after a board meeting of the Local Organizing Committee.

Football: 2.3 million World Cup tickets sold - FIFA

A total of 2.3 million tickets have been sold for the World Cup's 64 matches, FIFA revealed on Friday. More than 500,000 tickets were sold in the latest random phase and a further 159,000 will be sold, again exclusively through FIFA, on a first-come, first-served basis between March 12 and April 1. Those latter tickets will be for matches not including the June 12 opening Game in Sao Paulo and the July 13 final in Rio.

Football: FIFA sanctions Zambian FA, clubs over transfers

World football's governing body FIFA on Wednesday said it had sanctioned Zambia's national association and a trio of clubs for breaching international transfer rules. The Football Association of Zambia was fined 50,000 Swiss frances ($56,000) for allowing deals involving three professional players and five amateurs without the correct paperwork and outside the official transfer period. Zanaco FC were meanwhile hit with a fine of 20,000 Swiss francs ($22,500) for transferring a professional player.

Football: FIFA condemns Brazil protest violence

FIFA on Monday condemned "all kinds of violence after a man was shot and injured by military police during an anti-World Cup demonstration Saturday in Sao Paulo. "FIFA fully respects people's right to protest in a peaceful manner and as long as the rights of everybody are respected but condemns any form of violence," a FIFA statement read after a 22-year-old man was left in a coma after being shot in the neck and groin. Police said he was carrying an explosive device.

Football: Curitiba World Cup decision late April/early May - FIFA

A decision on maintaining the Brazilian city of Curitiba as a World Cup venue will be taken in late April or early May, FIFA said Thursday. "A decision will be taken late April or early May, which is very late," said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, who Tuesday had warned the venue faced missing out owing to lagging preparations. cw/dj

Football: Champagne launches bid for FIFA presidency

Former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne on Monday launched his bid to succeed Sepp Blatter as president of the organisation that runs the global game. The 55-year-old Frenchman, who worked closely with Blatter between 2002 and 2005, announced his campaign to become football's most powerful man at a press conference in central London. "I'm here to announce and launch my candidacy for the FIFA presidency in the elections in 2015," he told reporters.

Pele raises a glass to Champagne's FIFA bid

By Mike Collett LONDON (Reuters) - Pele has endorsed Jerome Champagne's bid to become the next president of FIFA, saying he supported the 55-year-old Frenchman's vision for the future of world soccer's governing body on Monday. The Brazilian, widely regarded as the world's greatest-ever player, gave his backing in a videotaped message shown when Champagne launched his bid at a news conference in London.

S. Korea's FIFA ranking edges up one notch to 53rd place

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea edged up one notch to No. 53 in the latest FIFA rankings released Thursday. The rise can be attributed to the country's ranking points rising to 581, up four points from last month. This places South Korea at third place among Asian countries in the rankings compiled by the world football governing body. Iran with 727 points ranked 34th place followed by Japan at 48th place. Both countries backtracked one notch vis-a-vis December.

Football: Oldest football governing body to become autonomous

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the oldest existing international football association, is to become autonomous from FIFA, the world governing body's president Sepp Blatter said Monday. IFAB is the only body authorised to change the rules of the game and is currently made up of the four British federations -- The English Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales and Northern Ireland's Irish Football Association -- as well as FIFA.

Football: Qatar World Cup debate gathers pace at FIFA

The timing of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar brought further trouble for FIFA Wednesday with its number two official ruling out a June-July tournament only to be told by international football's governing body that the matter was still under consideration. The scheduling of the tournament has been hotly debated ever since FIFA controversially awarded it to Qatar in December 2010, especially over fears that the summer heat in the Gulf emirate would be dangerous for players and fans alike.
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