Category: World Cup 2014

Brazil firm reveals World Cup stadium cartel: officials

Brasília (AFP) – A construction firm has admitted that a “cartel” of firms fixed bidding for contracts to do work on stadiums for the 2014 football World Cup, Brazilian authorities said Monday. State antitrust authorities said the probe was linked to the notorious Petrobras corruption scandal that has snared numerous Brazilian politicians. “There is evidence that at least five public calls for tender linked to work on World Cup stadiums were subject to a cartel,” the Administrative Economic Defense Council (CADE), a state antitrust body, said in a statement. It said construction firm Andrade Gutierrez had spilled the beans on ... Read more

2014 World Cup final: Bastian Schweinsteiger’s finest hour

Berlin (AFP) – Germany’s midfield general Bastian Schweinsteiger walks away from international football two years after his crowning moment at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Bloodied but unbowed, Schweinsteiger was magnificent at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium in the final, ensuring Germany controlled the midfield before Mario Goetze’s extra-time winning goal against Argentina. After 12 years and 24 goals in 120 international appearances, “Schweini” leaves a proud legacy, with Germany having reached at least the semi-final stage of the past six major tournaments.  The past two injury-hit years have been unkind to the 31-year-old, who opted to quit Bayern ... Read more

Brazil memories buoy battered Germany for France in Euro 2016

Evian (France) (AFP) – Germany face hosts France in the Euro 2016 semi-finals on Thursday in the midst of an injury crisis, but buoyed by memories of their flooring of Brazil at the same stage of the 2014 World Cup. The Marseille clash will be another test of Germany’s mettle after their historic quarter-final defeat of Italy. Die Mannschaft are without three stars with defender Mats Hummels suspended, plus striker Mario Gomez and midfielder Sami Khedira injured. Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is highly doubtful with a knee strain, but nevertheless the world champions are relishing the French challenge.  Joachim Loew has ... Read more

‘Open wound’ of 2014 World Cup drives Italy’s Conte

Lyon (AFP) – Italy’s Antonio Conte says the ‘open wound’ of their 2014 World Cup failure should inspire the Azzurri to success at Euro 2016 after their impressive 2-0 win over Belgium. Goals in either half from Emanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle saw Italy floor much-fancied Belgium at the Stade de Lyon on Monday. Italy threw down a marker to show they plan to be a force to be reckoned with at these European championships finals. But Conte said the Azzurri’s failure at the 2014 World Cup, where an opening win over England, then defeats to Uruguay and Costa Rica ... Read more

Reading Between the Lines to Understand What Jurgen Klinsmann Really Means

Since it appears that we are going to be stuck with Jurgen Klinsmann as the US Men’s National Team manager for the foreseeable future, it seems prudent to get to the bottom of what the boss really means when he unleashes his well-worn contradictions. If you’ve followed the USMNT since Klinsmann got the job in 2011, you know that very little of what the manager says can be taken at face value. So here, I’ve taken a shot at unearthing Klinsmann’s real truths. Klinsmann says: US players need to compete at the highest level. Klinsmann means: Some US players – ... Read more

10 Biggest Soccer Stories of 2014

The year 2014 included many major soccer stories, talking points and controversies. Here’s a list of 10 of the biggest stories to come out of the beautiful game during the past 12 months. 1. Germany Wins Fourth World Cup The Germans triumph during this summer’s World Cup came down to defense.  The now four-time champions only allowed four goals in seven total matches during the competition.  While they squeaked out a 1-0 victory over Argentina in the final, there were two matches that stood out for the Germans: the 4-0 victory over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal side in the opening match ... Read more

Netherlands Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen on ‘That’ Substitution And More

You’re your country’s number one goalkeeper and it’s the 121st minute of a World Cup quarter-final. The match is scoreless and the prospect of a penalty shoot-out seems inevitable. You’re mentally preparing for what’s about to happen next when you glance at the fourth official on the sideline and see your number being held up. The realization hits that you’re being substituted. You trudge off the pitch and see your replacement become the hero in the subsequent shootout. For anyone it’s a cruel, cruel fate to experience. For Jasper Cillessen, the national goalkeeper of the Netherlands, it was something he had ... Read more

FIFA’s Ethics And Principles Nothing Short of Disgraceful

FIFA was back in the news this week, which almost always means a good hearty laugh followed by a sustained period of crying. This week, we found out that the report conducted by American investigator Michael Garcia into the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was, in fact, a practical joke. Instead of releasing Garcia’s real report, FIFA instead published a 42 page document put together by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert that cleared Qatar and Russia of any wrongdoing, and instead lampooned – get this – England, a country that wasn’t ... Read more