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Jun 17, 2014

Empty seats due to no-shows not corporate absences, FIFA says

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The empty seats visible at some stadiums in the World Cup’s opening 14 matches are due to fans who have bought tickets but have not turned up for the games rather than corporate clients not using them, FIFA said on Tuesday.

FIFA’s official figures show that 701,710 of the 716,176 seats available in the opening games have been filled, meaning that 98 per cent of all seats have been used in the games so far.

Jun 17, 2014

Soccer-Empty seats due to no-shows not corporate absences, FIFA says

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 17 (Reuters) – The empty seats visible at some stadiums in the World Cup’s opening 14 matches are due to fans who have bought tickets but have not turned up for the games rather than corporate clients not using them, FIFA said on Tuesday.

FIFA’s official figures show that 701,710 of the 716,176 seats available in the opening games have been filled, meaning that 98 per cent of all seats have been used in the games so far.

Jun 16, 2014

Messi strike lights up Maracana as Argentina sink Bosnia

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Lionel Messi finally made his mark on the World Cup and lit up the Maracana with his first goal in the finals for eight years as Argentina were forced to battle for a 2-1 win over debutantes Bosnia in their opening Group F match on Sunday.

Messi, four-times world player of the year and Argentina’s best footballer since Diego Maradona graced the 1986 tournament, put his side 2-0 ahead on a night when the stadium was turned into little Buenos Aires by tens of thousands of his countrymen.

Jun 16, 2014

Soccer-Messi strike lights up Maracana as Argentina sink Bosnia

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 15 (Reuters) – Lionel Messi finally made his mark on the World Cup and lit up the Maracana with his first goal in the finals for eight years as Argentina were forced to battle for a 2-1 win over debutants Bosnia in their opening Group F match on Sunday.

Messi, four-times world player of the year and Argentina’s best footballer since Diego Maradona graced the 1986 tournament, put his side 2-0 ahead on a night when the stadium was turned into little Buenos Aires by tens of thousands of his countrymen.

Jun 15, 2014

FIFA not deliberately keeping Blatter out of sight: TV boss

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – FIFA’s TV producers are not deliberately keeping images of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Brazil president Dilma Rousseff off screens, Niclas Ericson, the head of FIFA TV, said on Sunday.

The crowd at the Corinthians arena booed and jeered Rousseff when a shot of her cheering one of Brazil’s goals in their 3-1 win over Croatia was briefly shown on the big screen inside the stadium.

Jun 15, 2014

Soccer-FIFA not deliberately keeping Blatter out of sight – TV boss

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 15 (Reuters) – FIFA’s TV producers are not deliberately keeping images of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Brazil president Dilma Rousseff off screens, Niclas Ericson, the head of FIFA TV, said on Sunday.

The crowd at the Corinthians arena booed and jeered Rousseff when a shot of her cheering one of Brazil’s goals in their 3-1 win over Croatia was briefly shown on the big screen inside the stadium.

Jun 14, 2014

Argentina coach tight-lipped on plans to defeat Bosnia

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella gave little away on Saturday about his plans to defeat World Cup debutantes Bosnia, claiming he did not know who would play or what system he would adopt in the team’s opening Group F match on Sunday.

“I will evaluate the players up until the last minute and decide who are in the best condition to face the 90 minutes,” Sabella told reporters at the Maracana in his pre-match briefing before the game.

Jun 14, 2014

Soccer-Argentina coach tight-lipped on plans to defeat Bosnia

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 14 (Reuters) – Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella gave little away on Saturday about his plans to defeat World Cup debutants Bosnia, claiming he did not know who would play or what system he would adopt in the team’s opening Group F match on Sunday.

“I will evaluate the players up until the last minute and decide who are in the best condition to face the 90 minutes,” Sabella told reporters at the Maracana in his pre-match briefing before the game.

Jun 14, 2014

‘Phenomenal’ Van Persie goal has FIFA drooling

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Robin van Persie’s spectacular headed goal for the Netherlands against world champions Spain was described as “absolutely phenomenal” by former France manager Gerard Houllier on Saturday.

Houllier, a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group for the last 20 years, could hardly contain his delight in describing the goal when members of the group briefed reporters at the Maracana on Saturday.

Jun 14, 2014

Soccer-’Phenomenal’ Van Persie goal has FIFA drooling

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 14 (Reuters) – Robin van Persie’s spectacular headed goal for the Netherlands against world champions Spain was described as “absolutely phenomenal” by former France manager Gerard Houllier on Saturday.

Houllier, a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group for the last 20 years, could hardly contain his delight in describing the goal when members of the group briefed reporters at the Maracana on Saturday.