The opening ceremony and the first match is not long off. Thursday 12th June, will see Brazil play Croatia in the Arena de Sao Paulo with a 9pm (BST) kick.
Spain has been ordered to bring a 3rd strip to Brazil, a white Adidas kit, to use in their opening game against Holland to avoid their normal red strip clashing with Holland’s orange strip for their game on Friday 13th June.
Robin van Persie’s early goal earned the Netherlands a 1-0 victory in their international friendly against fellow World Cup finalists Ghana in Rotterdam.
Croatia have named their squad: Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov/RUS), Danijel Subasic (Monaco/FRA), Oliver Zelenika (Lokomotiva Zagreb). Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Sime Vrsaljko (Genoa/ITA), Danijel Pranjic (Panathinaikos/GRE), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Dejan Lovren (Southampton/ENG), Gordon Schindelfeld (Panathinaikos/GRE). Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid/ESP), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla/ESP), Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan/ITA), Marcelo Brozovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Ivan Mocinic (Rijeka), Sammir (Getafe/ESP). Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich/GER), Nikica Jelavic (Hull City/ENG), Ivica Olic (VfL Wolfsburg/GER), Eduardo Da Silva (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR), Ivan Perisic (VfL Wolfsburg/GER), Ante Rebic (Fiorentina/ITA).
The final Uruguay squad has been announced and it includes Luis Suarez. Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray/TUR), Martín Silva (Vasco Da Gama/BRA), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad/PAR).
Defenders: Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Martin Caceres (Juventus/ITA), Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica/POR), Jorge Fucile (Porto/POR), Sebastian Coates (Nacional/URU). Midfielders: Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia/MEX), Walter Gargano (Parma/ITA), Diego Perez (Bologna/ITA), Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio/ITA), Alvaro Pereira (San Pablo/BRA), Cristian Rodríguez (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton/ENG), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo/BRA). Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool/ENG), Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka/JPN), Cristian Stuani (Espanyol/ESP, Abel Hernandez (Palermo/ITA).
FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke has raised a number of concerns over Stadiums in Natal, Porto Alegre and São Paulo. A further test event will take place at The Arena de São Paulo today (1 June) when Corinthians take on Botafogo with a reduced crowd.
The Sunday Times is reporting bribes of $5m to get votes for Qatar for the 2022 World Cup:-
THE secret payments that helped Qatar to win the World Cup bid are revealed
for the first time this weekend in a bombshell cache of millions of
documents leaked to The Sunday Times.
The files expose how Qatar’s astonishing victory in the race to secure the
right to host the 2022 tournament was sealed by a covert campaign by Mohamed
bin Hammam, the country’s top football official.
Italy‘s World Cup plans were thrown into turmoil as Riccardo Montolivo was stretchered off during a 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland, in a friendly at Craven Cottage.