30 julho 2009

China Development Plans Brazil, Russia, Egypt Offices

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- China Development Bank Corp., the state-run bank for public works projects, opened its first branch outside the mainland in Hong Kong today and plans offices in Russia, Egypt and Brazil as part of a global expansion push.

The offices will start operating in Moscow and Cairo this year and the Rio de Janeiro area next year, Vice President Li Jiping told a press conference. The Beijing-based bank agreed in May to lend $10 billion to Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, helped finance a fund in Africa and extended loans in June to Russia’s development bank.

“Our strategic goal is to become an internationalized bank,” Li told reporters, adding that the Hong Kong branch will cover Asia. “Mainland organizations can effectively go out to the international market through this Hong Kong platform.”
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on July 20 that the nation’s more than $2 trillion of foreign-exchange reserves should be used to help companies invest abroad. China’s “going out” strategy is also designed to help ensure the nation has access to the resources needed to sustain the fastest economic expansion among the world’s 20 largest economies.

The bank agreed to lend $1.3 billion to Vnesheconombank, Russia’s state development bank, the Moscow-based lender said June 14. The China-Africa Development Fund, which has helped finance a cotton facility in Malawi and power station in Ghana, was set up in June 2007 with an initial $1 billion from China Development Bank.

Brazil Plan

The branch in Brazil will invest in ports, steel mills and energy, Rio de Janeiro state Governor Sergio Cabral said on June 30. The bank also has expressed interest in investing in projects related to the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and Rio’s bid for the 2016 Olympics, Cabral said in a statement. The city is home to Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which is considering buying Chinese equipment in return for further loans, and Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore producer.

China, the world’s third-biggest economy, became Brazil’s leading trade partner this year after the global recession choked sales to the U.S. The two countries’ central banks are studying a proposal to use their own currencies -- the real and the yuan -- in bilateral trade instead of the U.S. dollar.

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China -- the so-called BRIC nations -- called for a “more diversified” monetary system to reduce dependency on the U.S. dollar at a June 16 meeting in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

China Development Bank’s profit tumbled 28 percent last year on higher loan losses as the nation’s economic growth slowed. The bank, which had 3.8 trillion yuan ($556.3 billion) of assets at the end of 2008, received a $20 billion capital injection from the government in December 2007 and is seeking to become a commercial lender. The Ministry of Finance owns 51.3 percent of the bank and Central Huijing Investment Co., a unit of China’s $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, holds the rest.

Fonte: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601116&sid=aFpu.S6OqI2c

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Top soccer official to invite Obama to World Cup

NEW YORK — FIFA president Sepp Blatter has specific ideas on upgrading the popularity of soccer in the United States. He hopes he has an eager listener in President Barack Obama.

Blatter plans to extend a personal invitation to Obama to attend the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when the two meet at the White House on Monday.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, Blatter said the invitation has been extended and that he will "confirm it" at the meeting.

"I know there are people around the president who are football fans, and that they will make everything possible in his agenda that the president be at the opening of the World Cup or the final," Blatter said.

Blatter also plans to discuss the state of U.S. Soccer with the president, including Major League Soccer's spring-through-fall schedule, and the United States' bids to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
"I spoke with (MLS commissioner) Don Garber and (U.S. Soccer president) Sunil Gulati yesterday again," Blatter said. "We want also to have in this country a very strong professional league. The problem is, when they play out of the international season, they never attract the great players from the European market.

"They have to look at it and whether they can change the schedule and enter into the international (fall-to-spring) calendar. We can only suggest."

Blatter, who attended the Gold Cup final between the U.S. team and Mexico at a sold-out Giants Stadium on Sunday, is concerned that MLS can never become entrenched in this country if the best American players aren't playing in it. He noted that 18 of the 23 players on the U.S. squad that finished a stunning second in the Confederations Cup earlier this summer are on European club rosters.

"If they want to be called a major league ... and have this impact of other major leagues like American football, baseball and the NBA, I think they are far away in quality," he said. "I think with the number of participants on the youth level, they should try to do it.

"For the national team, they are not the only one with players mostly not playing inside the country. It's the same as Brazil and Argentina, who have most of their players in Europe. It can't help football in the U.S. if the heroes and stars are not playing here. How can the youth identify with the game?"

The entire soccer movement in the United States could receive a tremendous boost if the 2018 or 2022 World Cup is awarded to the Americans. FIFA will decide in December 2010, with England considered the front-runner for '18 — Blatter has expressed a preference for bringing the tournament back to Europe after stints in Africa and then South America, where Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup.

Blatter, as always, was noncommittal on the bids. The United States is one of 11 countries that has formally declared its desire to host either event, while Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have submitted joint bids.

But he is firm in his support of awarding both tournaments at the same time.

"One big reason is it gives the local organizing committee more time for the preparation of the tournament," he said. "Also, looking at who would be interested in 2018, there were 10 (bidders) indicating they would like to have it. We can not go 10 for one, so we said, `Let's go for two World Cups.'

"It's also very important for our partners — economic and television — and for FIFA to know where we will go. The interest is so huge in having the World Cup."


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Britain now hot host for top sports events

LONDON — Not so long ago, the world's top sports events bypassed Britain because of a combination of poor finances and arrogance. Now they can't wait to get a taste of Wembley, Lord's, Old Trafford and Twickenham.

A decade ago, England's bid to stage soccer's 2006 World Cup was a flop and, when Britain was effectively handed the athletics world track and field in 2005, it had to pull out as plans to build a new stadium in North London were scrapped because of insufficient finances and poor transportation links.

What a difference a few years make.

London has the 2012 Olympics, Glasgow will stage the 2014 Commonwealth Games and now England will host the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the 2019 cricket World Cup.
England is also one of the favourites to stage the 2018 World Cup of soccer. Although it faces strong opposition from around the globe, if it gets that too when FIFA votes in December 2010, the next decade will become Britain's greatest ever in terms of hosting international sports events.

Keith Mills, who is on the board of the 2018 World Cup bid and helped to secure the 2012 Olympics for London, said the country was hampered by a perceived arrogance.

"The general impression was that we were an arrogant country who thought we knew it all," he said. "We now go into bids with a very different attitude.

"Rather than telling everyone how great we are, we ask them what sort of competition they want. Listening is the best form of selling."

The 2015 Rugby World Cup and 2013 Rugby League equivalent were the latest captures on Tuesday and, with grounds already in existence to stage them, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the nation was ideally equipped to handle all these events.

"The Rugby World Cup is yet another tremendous event to add to the country's decade of sport and another chance to show our nation's passion for sport and what world-class facilities we have to offer," he said.

The rebuilt 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium is one of 11 grounds being used for the rugby championship and will also host the 2011 Champions League final, European soccer's premier club competition.

The home of English rugby, Twickenham now has a capacity of 82,000 while the Rugby Football Union will also use soccer grounds such as the 76,000-capacity Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, Arsenal's 60,000 Emirates Stadium, Newcastle's St. James' Park (52,000) and Liverpool's Anfield (45,000).

Although it is in Wales, Cardiff's 74,000-capacity Millennium Stadium is another option.

The soccer grounds also play a major part in England's bid to stage the World Cup in 2018 for the first time since England won the title in 1966. England successfully staged the European Championship in 1996 and it was on that basis that it decided to bid for the 2006 World Cup despite having reportedly pledged to support Germany.

The Football Association's bid ended after the first two rounds of voting when FIFA's executive committee gave it to the Germans, just ahead of South Africa. FIFA did not go along with England's campaign that the World Cup should go to the game's inventors.

Ten years on, the tourism industry is looking forward to seeing millions of sports fans heading to the UK to watch the big events staged here.

"Britain will be the sports fans' dream destination in coming years as a golden decade of major sporting occasions draws millions of people from around the world," said Sandie Dawe, chief executive of national tourism agency VisitBritain.

"A third of potential visitors to Britain would be very likely to watch sporting events here. We have a real opportunity to raise awareness of destinations with unique links to different sports, of our cathedrals of sport like Lord's, Wimbledon, the Millennium Stadium and (Glasgow's) Hampden Park, and our remarkably varied sporting calendar."

Fonte: http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hj5lFNm4K3mmeFX4xhKpwT-yFnPA

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29 julho 2009

Normal Rotation Could Put World Cup in United States in 2018

By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The United States has a good chance of hosting the 2018 World Cup if soccer's governing body adheres to its principle of rotating the massive sporting event continent to continent, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Monday.

But, Blatter added, many Europeans in the organization feel that Europe (which hosted in 2006) should be awarded every third World Cup, which would favor England, Spain or perhaps another country on the continent.

The conflicting views will be reconciled in December 2010, when FIFA is expected to award hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Between now and then, the United States and its 10 rivals will submit detailed proposals and engage in deft political maneuvering to curry FIFA's favor.

On Monday, President Obama got the U.S. campaign off to a start that Blatter conceded "merits a compliment" -- demonstrating his own appreciation for "the beautiful game" by dribbling a soccer ball that Blatter had presented him in the Oval Office.

Blatter said afterward that Obama, whose basketball prowess is well-known, isn't ready for a spot on the U.S. national team. But, he joked, Obama probably could have made the second-tier U.S. squad that was trounced by Mexico, 5-0, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup match he attended Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J., as part of his four-day visit to the United States.

The key item on Blatter's U.S. tour was the meeting with Obama, in which they discussed ways of strengthening soccer in the United States. Blatter called it "a great encounter."

In addition, Blatter presented a formal invitation to the president and his family to attend the 2010 World Cup, which will be hosted by South Africa. According to Blatter, Obama directed his aides to consult his agenda.

FIFA's policy of rotating the World Cup was adopted in 2000 and largely responsible for the decision to award the 2010 event to South Africa. Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup.

But in 2007, FIFA voted to drop the rotation in 2018.

"[If] we go again in a rotation, after South America, there should be North America coming in," Blatter said. "That would be the normal way to go."

The United States hosted the 1994 World Cup, and MLS, the country's professional league, was launched in 1996 as a result. But neither has catapulted soccer's popularity to the level FIFA officials had hoped.

Blatter said he understood that the United States' crowded sports landscape represented a challenge for extending soccer's foothold. He praised the strides the women's game has made, noting: "You have the best women footballers here in this country." And he accentuated the positives when asked if the country's inability to capitalize on the 1994 World Cup should count against it in the next round of voting.

"Yes, it has not had the impact we expected," Blatter conceded. "But it was the first World Cup organization, and so far the only one, where all tickets were sold, and all seats were occupied. So this is a good legacy of the organizational skill of the United States."

Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, who accompanied Blatter, called it a positive meeting.

"The president knows the game," Gulati said. "His daughters play. And he was very receptive, asking what else he could do to help with both the bid and the development of the game."

Fonte: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/27/AR2009072702503.html

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27 julho 2009

Obama Lobbying for U.S. to Play Host for Soccer World Cup

By Hans Nichols

July 27 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama will be lobbying the head of soccer’s international governing body today to bring the World Cup to the U.S.

The president also will get a personal invitation from Sepp Blatter, head of world governing body FIFA, to attend next year’s tournament in South Africa, a trip in which Obama has expressed interest.

“We’ll use the opportunity of the meeting to advocate for the United States to host the World Cup in either 2018, or 2022,” Josh Earnest, deputy White House press secretary, said of this afternoon’s discussion between Obama and Blatter.

The international tournament is held every four years. The host for the 2014 World Cup will be Brazil. Blatter said in an interview yesterday that he expects a “big fight” over the chance to host the championship.

At last month’s G-8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, Obama said it was his “goal” to travel to South Africa next June to attend the World Cup.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that no final decision has been made. He suggested that many of the president’s senior staff want him to make the trip.

“Scheduling has warned me against accepting unilaterally invitations to visit South Africa,” Gibbs said. “I don’t know if we’ll have any announcements out of that meeting.”

Fonte: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=amSIiXAydsOM

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SACA's $350m super oval revealed


July 24, 2009 09:25pm

THE South Australian Cricket Association has revealed a $350 million plan to upgrade Adelaide Oval.

The move is designed to secure AFL matches from 2014 and World Cup soccer fixtures.

The SACA, the South Australian National Football League and the Australian Football League will pursue talks next month aimed at consolidating Adelaide Oval as a mutually beneficial, multipurpose venue. SACA chief executive Mike Deare told The Advertiser a redeveloped Bradman Stand with 16,000 seats was the key to increasing capacity to the 45,000-seat figure required to host AFL and international sporting events.
"There has been a meeting of minds between the SANFL, AFL and SACA that we should jointly explore what might be in the best interests of us all by future development of Adelaide Oval," Mr Deare said.

AFL chief executive and "brilliant facilitator" Andrew Demetriou had kick-started the process 12 months ago, he said. "The preliminary estimates say that we are probably talking in the vicinity of $350 million to $400 million to take the stadium up to 45,000 capacity."

"The SACA, SANFL and AFL have the capacity, I believe, to deliver that sort of venue for the benefit of SA."

There is distinct desire emanating from influential quarters to fast-track the establishment of a world class, city-based stadium.

Mr Demetriou and Football Federation Australia counterpart Ben Buckley will be in Adelaide this week for talks with the State Government.

FFA must decide on host cities and venues by October and wants to cement "a truly national bid" for the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup.

FFA spokeswoman Bonita Mersiades said: "SACA has briefed senior FFA representatives on their plans for Adelaide Oval, and we have provided preliminary feedback on the technical requirements to ensure a venue is FIFA World Cup-compliant. FFA is hoping to meet with the SA Government again next week."

Crucially needed government support would be about $700 million less than that needed to build a new, $1 billion stadium proposed by the Liberal Opposition.

Treasurer Kevin Foley has already raised the possibility of switching $100 million for a proposed refurbishment of unpopular AAMI Stadium to Adelaide Oval with Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis responsible for securing extra investment in Canberra.

Mr Deare said: "From our perspective we would like to see it (Bradman Stand redevelopment) finished by 2014. The World Cup cricket is in 2015 and if World Cup soccer is in 2018, FIFA will want to see really solid evidence of this venue being developed.

"It is no secret the State (Government) has a preference for Adelaide Oval as a major venue and the FFA said this is the venue it wants World Cup soccer played at in Adelaide."

If Adelaide Oval becomes a FIFA World Cup venue, the focus will intensify on staging Crows and Power games at the ground.

The SANFL would be able to make a lucrative full or partial sale of AAMI Stadium, with the proceeds securing its future and likely senior partner status at Adelaide Oval. On May 11, SACA president Ian McLachlan revealed in The Advertiser that SACA would cede control of Adelaide Oval and share the venue with the SANFL – a move scuttled by Sir Don Bradman 40 years ago.

Mr Deare acknowledged there were hurdles to jump before the SANFL and the SACA again cohabit, along with Crows and Power games played at Adelaide Oval.

The SANFL's public stance is to maintain football's headquarters at AAMI Stadium.

Yet the risk of no reconciliation could have dire repercussions.

"Working with two venues for a city of Adelaide's size doesn't work," said Mr Deare, whose organisation received $50 million in state and federal funding to upgrade the stadium's western grandstand. "The Commonwealth and the State have indicated they are ready to help, provided we come back to them with the right sort of business plan."

It was a model, insisted Mr Deare, where the "whole of SA wins". "The SANFL gets this monkey off its back about the problem of the venue being too far away and attendance issues," he said, glossing over Port Adelaide's desperation to jag a bonanza stadium deal in town. "The city gets a venue which could host major World Cup cricket and soccer and the Commonwealth Games."

Ultimately, SACA and SANFL constituents must approve any union at Adelaide Oval.

"We need to have a complete business plan, agreed between the SACA and SANFL – with the AFL's input and support – and then we can go to our members," Mr Deare said.

Because Adelaide Oval is situated in the parklands, it cannot attract major project status. This means any development must first be considered by Adelaide City Council.

Fonte: http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,27574,25831480-2682,00.html

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Brazil 'can afford' World Cup, Olympics - Lula

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil is financially well-equipped to stage the 2014 football World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympic Games, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Friday.

"We meet all the requirements for the World Cup but we want more - we also want the 2016 Olympic Games, Lula said in an interview with Sao Paolo's Radio Globo.

The president promised 80 billion Reales (29.7 billion euros) would be available to fund the 2014 World Cup which world football body FIFA awarded to Brazil two years ago.

The radio station has carried out a survey of 12 Brazilian cities which would be involved in the soccer tournament, estimating stadium infrastructure and other essential facilities would add up to at least 80 billion.

"Obviously we would not want to organize the World Cup if we did not have the money," added the President.

The International Olympic Committee is to make a final decision on October 2 about the location of the 2016 Olympics, with Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago in the running.

Fonte: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i9EpKRIRAC60lldwAfbeA3NgIX_Q

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