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No sex before games? Brazilian players test club controls

By Andrew Downie SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Brazilian tradition of the concentracao - sequestering teams before matches and shielding them from temptations such as sex and alcohol - is under threat as players take a stand against the late payment of wages. So far this year players at Botafogo, Portuguesa and Vasco da Gama have refused to attend the concentracao because their salaries were not paid on time.

AFP Videographics

The AFP Videographics advisory for Thursday: MARACANA STADIUM Overview of Brazil's iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. First installment of a series of 12 videographics on the 2014 World Cup stadiums. Text slug:Fbl-WC2014-BRA-stadiums ENGLISH VIDEO ANIMATION: Format 16:9, WC14StadiumMaracana1212VGRX_TEN, 1600 GMT INTERNATIONAL VIDEO ANIMATION: (Without soundtrack and text) Format 16:9, WC14StadiumMaracana1212VGRX_ZZ, 1600 GMT Also available: Syria refugees Destroying chemical weapons

Menezes confirmed as Corinthians coach

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Former Brazil coach Mano Menezes has been confirmed as manager of Brazilian giants Corinthians next season. The 51-year-old replaces Tite to return to the club he coached from 2008 to 2010. "Mano Menezes is the new coach of Corinthians, returning after three years," Corinthians said in a statement on its official website. During his first spell in charge, Menezes led Corinthians to the Serie B championship in 2008 and the Copa do Brasil title in 2009.

Insight: Brazil's opening World Cup stadium: Troubled from the start

By Brian Winter SAO PAULO (Reuters) - When Brazil first won the right to host the 2014 soccer World Cup, officials knew they would need a modern stadium with more than 65,000 seats in the country's biggest city. As it happened, Sao Paulo had just such an arena: Cicero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium, known as "Morumbi," standing amid a sea of orange-roofed mansions on the western side of the city.

Brazil's Fluminense eye relegation reprieve

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Fluminense could be spared relegation to Brazil's second tier amid revelations that rivals Portuguesa fielded an irregular player. Brazil's superior sports justice tribunal (STJD) will this week make a ruling on Portuguesa's decision to introduce suspended midfielder Heverton in the final minutes of Sunday's 0-0 draw with Gremio. The club faces a possible three-point deduction, which would leave them with 45 points, one less than Fluminense.

Brazil striker Damaio in Santos talks

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Santos are preparing an offer to sign Brazil and Internacional striker Leandro Damiao. Santos' officials are in talks with local investment group Doyen to help them meet Internacional's 14 million-euro (about 19.3 million U.S. dollars) asking price, news site Terra reported on Tuesday. Damiao struggled for fitness and form in the Campeonato Brasileiro in 2013, scoring just five goals from 26 matches. The 24-year has previously been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, Napoli and Southampton.

Brazil to probe football fan riot

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian prosecutors will this week investigate a riot that left four football fans injured and raised fresh doubts about the country's ability to host next year's World Cup. The Campeonato Brasileiro match between Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama was stopped for almost an hour when rival fans clashed at Arena Joinville in Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina. "I saw everything. We will be filing a report," said Paulo Schmitt, prosecutor of Brazil's superior sports justice tribunal (STDJ).

Football: Three fans seriously hurt at Brazil league match

Brazil's organisational reputation, already under fire in the run-up to the World Cup, suffered another blow Sunday when three spectators were seriously hurt in violent clashes at a league match. Police said that fans of Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama fought running battles in the stands at the Santa Catarina stadium from as early as the 17th minute when Atletico took a 1-0 lead. A police helicopter was forced to land on the pitch to bring the violence to an end and medical help to the injured. The match was held up for an hour before being restarted.

Amid World Cup draw, protesters demand better services

As FIFA held the eagerly-waited World Cup draw, activists staged a colorful protest in Brasilia to draw attention to the country's social priorities: education and health. Earlier this week, Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo played down delays in construction work for four host venues for the next year's Cup, saying the fact that a bride arrives late at her wedding does not mean the marriage will fail.

Milan eye move for Brazil under-20 captain Doria

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Italian giants AC Milan are considering a move for teenage Brazilian defender Doria in the January transfer window, according to local media reports. The 19-year-old has been given a glowing reference by his Botafogo teammate and former Rossoneri midfielder Clarence Seedorf, Terra reported on Monday. The Rio de Janeiro club has placed a nine million-euro price tag on the Brazil under-20 captain, who has also been linked to Barcelona and Juventus. The move could depend on Botafogo's quest to qualify for next year's Copa Liberatdores.
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