The World Cup Countdown: Itaquerao roof unfinished

[BRAZIL 2014] Earlier this year, FIFA general secretary general Jerome Valcke said there was not a minute to waste to get Sao Paulo's stadium ready for the World Cup opener on June 12, but even that won't have been enough. The roof at the Itaquerao won't be completed until after the World Cup.

Construction firm Odebrecht confirmed Friday to AP that there isn't enough time to install the glass covers to the sides of the stadium's roofing structure, so the decision was made to postpone the work until after the finals.

The missing covers, which won't affect fans viewing of matches, were just one of the issues still unresolved at the Sao Paulo stadium.

Temporary seats -- 20,000 in all -- still need to be installed, and contractors averted a shutdown Friday when all health and safety issues were addressed with prosecutors.

Now, that would affect the viewing enjoyment of fans ...



Falcao update

'I WILL BE SENSIBLE.' Colombia star Radamel Falcao still hopes to be recovered from the knee injury that has sidelined since January, but be says he won't so anything foolish.

World Cup: Warmup Schedule

"In the coming weeks the decision will be made," Falcao told Spanish sports daily Marca. "I have been battling for many months now and working well. The knee is recovering without a setback, but all is still to be evaluated. I am hitting the ball now and have felt good. But that is one thing, just touching the ball. Another thing is to rejoin the group with maximum professional demands, these are different questions. This second level is where my knee must be able to respond adequately. To arrive 100 percent match-fit will be impossible, because I am lacking competitive action. To sum up, if it feels good, I will go. If I see that I am not secure and I cannot bring anything, I will be sensible and not go."

Roster Updates ...

RUSSIAN CUTS. Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, the lone foreign-based player, on Russia's 30-player World Cup squad was cut on Friday.

"I am a bit shocked and didn't believe that I had been excluded from the squad," said Pogrebnyak in an interview with Sovetsky Sport. Perhaps the bigger surprise was the striker was in the squad in the first place. He had not played for Russia since Euro 2012.

Also players on the first list were Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexey Berezutskiy (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Bystrov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Yury Gazinskiy (Krasnodar) and Artem Dzyuba (Rostov). Forward Denis Cheryshev will train but not travel to Brazil.

World Cup 2014 Squads:
Group A: Brazil (23) | Cameroon (28) | Croatia (30) | Mexico (23)
Group B: Australia (30) | Chile (30) | Netherlands (30) | Spain (30)
Group C:
Colombia (30) | Greece (29) | 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 (30) | Bosnia-Herzegovina (24) | Iran (28) | Nigeria (30)
Group G: Germany (30) | Ghana (26) | Portugal (30) | USA (30)
Group H: Algeria (30) | Belgium (24) | Russia (23) | South Korea (23)
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