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The World Cup Countdown: Ronaldo's shame
by Paul Kennedy, May 30th, 2014 4:17PM

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[BRAZIL 2014] Indicative of just how bad things are in Brazil a food fight over the mismanagement of the World Cup has broken out. In the middle of it is former Brazilian great Ronaldo, who has been the public face of the local organizing committee but has emerged as a vocal critic of the tournament's organization.

"I don't think FIFA is going to want to organize another Cup here," he said at forum organized by the Brazilian daily Folha. "They're going to be traumatized."

Ronaldo said only 30 percent of the planned infrastructure projects would be finished. "I think we're missing an opportunity," he said. "A series of investments were promised that won't be delivered. Only 30 percent will be delivered."

Ronaldo's cricitism follows his endorsement of Senator Aecio Neves, who is running for president against Dilma Rousseff on the opposition party PSDB.

"My shame is for the people, who were hoping for major investments," added Ronaldo. "That's the great legacy of the Cup for us. They were expecting a lot and they're the ones most hurt by the situation."

Following Ronaldo's initial statement of shame, Rousseff hit back at Ronaldo. "I am sure that our country will put on the Cup of Cups," Rousseff said in a speech in Brasilia. "I am proud of our accomplishments. We have no reason to be ashamed and we don't have an inferiority complex."

Rousseff still leads in the polls, but her support is slipping. The president elections will be held in October.

World Cup Warmups ...

USA-BOUND. Defending champion Spain is off to Washington and the English are headed to Miami after winning their only home warm-up games on Friday. Spain beat Bolivia, 2-0, in Seville on second-half goals by Fernando Torres from the penalty spot and Andres Iniesta. England brushed aside Peru, 3-0, in their first meeting since the 1962 World Cup.

Daniel Sturridge gave the English the lead after 32 minutes, and central defenders Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka put game away with goals off set pieces in the second half.

ST. LOUIS HOMECOMING. Edin Dzeko scored both goals to give Bosnia-Herzegovina a 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast on Friday night. The game was a homecoming for Bosnian forward Vedad Ibisevic, who attended Roosevelt High School and played at Saint Louis University.

The game drew only 14,101 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Bosnia-Herzegovina's match against Argentina in November 2013 drew 30,397 in St. Louis.

PRE-WORLD CUP, Schedule:
May 31 in Arlington, Texas
Mexico vs. Ecuador
May 31 in Osijek
Croatia vs. Mali
May 31 in Oslo
Norway vs. Russia
May 31 in Sion
Algeria vs. Armenia
May 31 in Lisbon
Portugal vs. Greece
May 31 in London
Italy vs. Ireland
May 31 in Rotterdam
Netherlands vs. Ghana
May 31 in Buenos Aires
Colombia vs. Senegal

Camp Updates ...

BRAZIL. Host Brazil doesn't play its first warm-up game until Tuesday, but Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari says he might rest three or four players for the game against Panama to give them a chance to improve their fitness. A second friendly against Serbia is scheduled for June 6. Defenders David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Maxwell have all been training on their own.



World Cup 2014 Squads:
Group A: Brazil (23) | Cameroon (28) | Croatia (30) | *Mexico (23)
Group B: *Australia (27) | Chile (30) | Netherlands (30) | Spain (30)
Group C:
Colombia (30) | *Greece (23) | Ivory Coast (28) | Japan (23)
Group D
: Costa Rica (26) | England (23) | Italy (30) | Uruguay (25)
Group E:
Ecuador (24) | *France (23) | Honduras (23) | Switzerland (23)
Group F: *Argentina (26) | Bosnia-Herzegovina (24) | Iran (28) | Nigeria (30)
Group G: Germany (30) | Ghana (26) | *Portugal (23) | *USA (23)
Group H: Algeria (30) | Belgium (24) | Russia (23) | *South Korea (23)
*Updated roster.


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