On June 12, the world’s eyes turn to Brazil for the start of the 20th FIFA World Cup, but the planet’s biggest football tournament will have plenty of news and views in the months leading up to it. ESPN FC’s World Cup Daily blog is the place to be:
• Former Brazil stars Cafu and Bebeto warned that failure to complete one of the 12 World Cup venues on time would be a blow to the nation. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is giving Brazilian organisers until Feb. 18 to show that the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba will be ready in time for the tournament, which kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 12. FULL STORY.
• Fabio Capello has committed to Russia by signing a contract that will keep him in charge until the end of the 2018 World Cup, which is of course to be held in Russia. Capello's side will face Belgium, Algeria and South Korea at this summer's tournament. Full story (FIFA.com).
• Music! FIFA has named its official anthem for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The BBC has all the details here, while you can listen to the 'tune' if you'd like, here.
INTERNATIONAL BIRTHDAYS: Guido Buchwald (1961), Giorgio Chinaglia (1947), Luis Suarez (1987).
DID YOU KNOW?
On this day in 1973, the first wheel came off Alf Ramsey's latest World Cup bandwagon. England had been drawn in the same qualifying group as Wales and, although Alf's boys had won the away match 1-0, they drew 1-1 at Wembley and failed to make it to West Germany 1974 -- Cris Freddi
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