• World Cup 2014
  • Introduction to Brazil
  • Brazil's WC Stadia
Tab 1
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For a few short weeks we concentrated on the FIFA World Cup 2014.

At great expense (only the best tea will do), IBO got together a crack team of writers from the IBO Forum to preview the various groups and cover the knockout phase that followed, culminating in the final itself.

The first stage of IBO's coverage was an excellent introduction to Brazil and the various places where the games took place, by Spot51, one of the IBO Forum writers. You can find these by clicking on the tabs above

The next row of tabs up takes you to the Group Previews and coverage of every single match. The next tab covers the last sixteen teams in the tournament, followed by the quarter finals. The last tab is labelled 'Finals' and covers the two semi-finals, the pointless 3rd/4th place match and the Final itself.


Tab 2

Brazil 2014 - An Introduction

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By spot51
Brazil is the world’s 5th largest country by area, has the 5th largest population and the 7th largest economy. Its Atlantic coastline stretches for almost 5000 miles and the western border with Peru runs along the foothills of the Andes. Brazil dominates Latin America and comprises 47% of the area of South America. It has land borders with every country on the continent bar Ecuador and Chile.

Portugal claimed Brazil as a colony in 1500 and spent the following centuries settling and developing the coastal parts of this vast country. Cultivation of sugar cane became a major economic driver and large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the plantations. When the demand for sugar reduced at the end of the 17th century, the Brazilian gold rush was taking off and waves of new immigrants arrived seeking their fortunes. Gold attracted other European powers and Portugal repelled invasions by both the French and the Dutch.

In the Napoleonic era, Portugal came under threat so both court and government decamped to Brazil. For a brief period Brazil and Portugal existed as a single pan-continental super-state. This ended in 1820 when the Royal Family returned to Lisbon and shortly afterwards Brazil became an independent monarchy. The Atlantic slave trade ended in 1850 but slavery persisted in Brazil till 1888. The following year the monarchy was overthrown and Brazil became a republic.

For much of the 20th century the country suffered military coups, dictatorships – indeed, all the stuff you’d associate with South American politics. Brazil did however enter WW2 on the side of the Allies in 1942. It was only during the final quarter of that century that civilian governments became the norm and Brazil’s ludicrous inflation rate finally began to fall. In 2011 Dilma Rousseff was elected as the first female president.
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Dilma Rousseff

Modern Brazil is a country of contrasts. Its forests are the most bio-diverse habitats on the planet. Jaguars hunt huge caiman beside vast rivers where giant otter, anaconda and piranha swim. Strange creatures such as tapirs, sloths and giant anteaters exist alongside a huge array of primates and certain indigenous tribes carry on a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Great tracts of pristine rainforest are burned each year to make room for crops but once the trees are gone the thin soil is just washed away in the next rainy season. The following year more forest is cleared…

Glittering modern cities where the well-off live out comfortable lives are surrounded by squalid favelas where just getting through the day is a considerable achievement. Technology and social media are giving Brazil’s underclass a new voice and protest simmers just beneath the surface. The spending on infrastructure and stadiums for major sporting events whilst Brazil’s social programmes are cut has seen huge mobs taking to the streets in protest in many urban centres.
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Rio de Janeiro

Brazil has almost 20 cities with populations over a million - you’ll have never heard of most of them. Sao Paulo (population 11M+) is the largest followed by Rio (6M+) and Salvador (2M+). Even Manaus, where England play their opening game, has a population approaching 2M despite being over 900 miles up the Amazon with no road connections to the east. Indeed, each of Brazil’s 10 largest cities will host World Cup matches. The other 2 stadia are in Cuiba and Natal, important regional centres.
Tab 3

The World Cup Stadia

By spot51

Sao Paulo (pop 11.3M)

Sao Paulo State

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Arena de Sao Paulo (capacity 65,807)

Brand new stadium will become home to Corinthians. Delays and fatal accidents will prevent this stadium from being finished in time for the opening match.

Work on the roof has been suspended. Other local clubs include Palmeiras, Sao Paulo and Santos. I saw Pele play for Santos at Hillsborough in 1971.

12/6 Brazil v Croatia
19/6 Uruguay v England
23/6 Holland v Chile
26/6 South Korea v Belgium
1/7 F1 v E2
9/7 SF 2

Natal (pop 0.8M)

Rio Grande do Norde

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Estadio das Dunas (cap 42,086)

This new stadium replaced the old Machadão which closed in 2011. It is home to both America, the top club in north-east Brazil, and lower league ABC.

13/6 Mexico v Cameroon
16/6 Ghana v USA
19/6 Japan v Greece
24/6 Italy v Uruguay

Salvador (pop 2.7M)


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Fonte Nova (cap 48,747)

Rebuilt stadium replacing one closed in 2007 when 7 fans were killed when part of it collapsed. Will be home to top flight Bahia. Local rivals Vitoria have their own ground.

13/6 Spain v Holland
16/6 Germany v Portugal
20/6 Switzerland v France
25/6 Bosnia v Iran
1/7 H1 v G2
5/7 QF 3

Cuiaba (pop 0.5M)

Mato Grosso

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Arena Pantanal (cap 42,968)

Another new build – will be home to Mixto and Cuiabá who play in regional leagues. This is one of three stadia that won’t be finished in time. Temporary seating is being installed.

13/6 Chile v Australia
17/6 Russia v S Korea
21/6 Nigeria v Bosnia
24/6 Japan v Colombia

Belo Horizonte (pop 2.4M)

Minas Gerais

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Estadio Minerao (cap 62,547)

Home of Cruzeiro and with a (pre Health and Safety) capacity of 132,834, this stadium just needed a wash and brush up to ready it for the World Cup. City rivals Atletico Mineiro have their own ground.

14/6 Colombia v Greece
17/6 Belgium v Algeria
21/6 Argentina v Iran
24/6 Cost Rica v England
28/6 A1 v B2
8/7 SF1

Fortaleza (pop 2.5M)


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Estadio Castelao (cap 64,846)

Built in 1973 this stadium has been refurbished for 2014 and is home to Ceara and Forteleza in the North-Eastern leagues.

14/6 Uruguay v Costa Rica
17/6 Brazil v Mexico
21/6 Germany v Ghana
24/6 Greece v Ivory Coast
29/6 B1 v A2
4/7 QF1

Manaus (pop 1.8M)


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Arena Amazonia (cap 42,374)

Will see little football after the World Cup. Set to become a venue for concerts and other events.

14/6 England v Italy
18/6 Cameroon v Croatia
22/6 USA v Portugal
25/6 Honduras v Switzerland

Recife (pop 1.5)


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Arena Pernambuco (cap 44,248)

Another new build – will be home to top flight Sport. Recife is also home to Nautico and Santa Cruz.

14/6 Ivory Coast v Japan
20/6 Italy v Costa Rica
23/6 Croatia v Mexico
26/6 USA v Germany
29/6 D1 v C2

Brazilia (pop 2.6M)

Federal Capital

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Estadio Nacional (cap 68,009)

The old Mané Garrincha stadium was demolished in 2010 to make way for this purpose built ground. It will be home to Brasília. Down the years they have been top flight - but currently are not.

15/6 Switzerland v Ecuador
19/6 Colombia v Ivory Coast
23/6 Cameroon v Brazil
26/6 Portugal v Ghana
30/6 E1 v F2
5/7 QF4
12/7 Third place play-off

Porto Alegre (pop 1.4M)

Rio Grande do Sol

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Estadio Beira-Rio (cap 48,849)

Brazil’s own “Riverside Stadium” is home to Internacional and has been upgraded to host World Cup matches. Cross town rivals Gremio have an even larger ground.

15/6 France v Honduras
18/6 Australia v Holland
22/6 S Korea v Algeria
25/6 Nigeria v Argentina
30/6 G1 v H2

Rio (pop 6.2M)

Rio de Janeiro

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Maracana (cap 76,804)

Brazil’s largest stadium is home to Fluminense and Flamengo. It is also the site of Brazil’s worst on-pitch football disaster. It hosted the 1950 World Cup final match when hot favourites and hosts Brazil lost 2-1 to Uruguay. Fans committed suicide and Brazil never again wore their white and blue strip. The famous yellow shirts were introduced and have, to be fair, done them proud in the intervening years!

15/6 Argentina v Bosnia
18/6 Spain v Chile
22/6 Belgium v Russia
25/6 Ecuador v France
28/6 C1 v D2
4/7 QF 2
13/7 Final

Curitiba (pop 1.7M)


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Arena da Baixada (cap 41,456)

The original stadium was built in 1914 and demolished in 1997. The current ground opened in 1999 but major refurbishments were planned for 2014. These were well behind schedule and thousands of temporary seats are being installed at the ground. It is home to Atlético Paranaense.

16/6 Iran v Nigeria
20/6 Honduras v Ecuador
23/6 Australia v Spain
26/6 Algeria v Russia