Latest World Cup News
Russian manager – ‘Would it be really cheeky to pick someone from the Crimea? It may be too soon for some but I have to start planning for Euro 2016 qualification.’
FIFA use ‘Hearts and Minds’ approach to defend Qatar World Cup award – ‘Over 500 poor Indian migrants have died building these facilities. How would their families feel if those stadiums never hosted a match?’
Organisers deny stadium shaped like an actual white elephant will become a metaphorical white elephant.
New report suggests the trade in illicit Panini World Cup stickers is now worth more than £10 billion, leading to an endemic gang culture with own it’s language (‘packing a piece’ means ‘I`ve got 3 Joe Harts’), insignia (a teardrop tattoo meaning ‘I`m having trouble getting Nigeria’s reserve left back’) and music culture (in the hip-hop song ‘Straight Outta Compton’, Ice Cube raps that he only needs to get the Canadian holding midfielder Compton Smith to complete all the teams in Group C, only to be told by Easy E that he had it the other day but swapped it with Dr Dre for Steve Hodge).
‘There’s far more to Brazil than most people realise’ said Carla de Faria, the Secretary of State for Tourism and Investment as I interviewed her in Rio. ‘We’ve got Michelin-starred restaurants, world-class museums, great hiking, and we hope that the World Cup will provide an opportunity for people to discover it for themselves.’ Mrs de Faria, who was born in the middle-class district of Rocha, which is only 10 miles from poverty-stricken favelas where street kids dream of becoming the next Pele, went on to say ‘For example, the Sao Paolo Museum of Modern Art is currently running a new reading of the curator Paulo Herkenhoff which features, amongst others, works by Mary Vieira, Alberto Teixeira, and Raul Porto, as well as an oil on canvas by Leopoldo Raimo and two works by Maurício Nogueira.’ I gazed past her, and saw local Cariocas flirting and enjoying a Caiprinha in a beach-side bar. The politician, who was educated at Oxford and Harvard and was clearly wearing nothing but a candy-floss bikini under her Chanel suit, unfortunately had to cut the conversation short. ‘I’m expecting the vice-President of Deutsche Bank here in 30 minutes and I have to prepare my presentation’ she said apologetically. As I left and drove to the airport, I felt great joy at having met my very own ‘Girl From Ipanema’.