Brazilian club soccer faces a challenging year ahead, Reuters reports, even as the country prepares to host the 2014 World Cup. While Brazil's stadium delays and infrastructure problems have been grabbing headlines in the lead up to FIFA's summer showcase, away from the limelight, Brazilian teams are squabbling -- sometimes refusing to play games -- and hooliganism is also on the rise.
According to the report, violence during Brazilian league games worsened last year, with at least 30 people killed in 2013, and hundreds arrested in fan-related violence.
"It's not just the World Cup that's struggling," columnist Marcelo Damato wrote in the sports newspaper Lance. "Brazilian soccer is awful. The CBF (Brazilian soccer federation) is a disorganized disaster."
Indeed, Reuters notes that players in Brazil are joining the Bom Senso FC (Common Sense FC) movement to protest the CBF, with more than 1,000 threatening to strike this month if the organization fails to meet its demands, which include a revised season, at least 30 days of a close season break, an extended preseason, stricter financial rules and more representation in decision-making administrative bodies. Read the original story...