Brazil 2014: 6 Days to go

There will be no big screen in Bedford Square, Princesshay, Exeter as there was for the Olympics in 2012. According to the Express & Echo, a spokesman for Exeter City Council said:-

We have no plans to put a large screens in the city centre for the 2014 Football World Group A footballsCup. The decision was made for ‘money reasons’ and not ‘safety fears’.

FIFA has announced that they will be making a symbol of peace just before the kick off of the opening match next week. Following the coin toss, players and officials will meet around the centre circle, and three children, each carrying a dove, will go to the middle of the centre circle, and release the three doves into the sky.

FIFA report that a total of 2,961,911 tickets have been sold, including more than 2.2 million directly via to the general public. Overall, 60% of the tickets were bought by Brazilians and 40% by fans from the rest of the world. After hosts Brazil (1,363,179), the USA leads the international pack with 196,838 tickets, followed by Argentina (61,021), Germany (58,778), England (57,917), logoColombia (54,477), Australia (52,289), Chile (38,638), France (34,865) and Mexico (33,694).

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is not too worried about Italy’s poor form leading up to the World Cup. He told

We completely made a mistake in marking their corner kick and Luxembourg took advantage and scored. I need to test some of the solutions we had been practising in training, especially in midfield. It is something I needed to do and I don’t think it was a failure. I’ve seen interesting things.

Prandelli, had experimented with Andrea Pirlo and Marco Verratti playing together at the heart of midfield in the recent friendly:-

We knew that we weren’t going to be sharp considering the hard work the team has undergone in recent days. We have to improve but we leave for Brazil knowing that we can have a great World Cup.

Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger are set to return from injury on Friday as Germany play Armenia in their final warm-up match before the World Cup. Germany head coach Joachim Low says both will feature against Aremnia, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will miss out.