Work in Sports
Rev. Moon assembles pro team in Brazil
Posted: Sunday January 30, 2000 04:53 PM
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- After buying up large tracts of land in western Brazil, Rev. Sun Myung Moon wants more -- a piece of Brazilian soccer.
The Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported Sunday that Korean minister has assembled a professional soccer team to compete in the Mato Grosso do Sul State championships in March.
The team is named Cene, a Portuguese acronym for New Hope Sports Center, and its headquarters are in Jardim, a small-town where Moon has in recent years acquired the 138,000-acre (56,000-acre) New Hope Ranch, 870 miles (1,400 kilometers) west of Rio de Janeiro.
Moon also owns the South Korean soccer team Il Hwa Chunma.
Coach Paulo Telles told the newspaper the team already owns some of the best players in the state, having purchased five members from Ubiratan, last year's state champions. Moon has also tapped other promising players from outside the state.
The 78-year-old Moon is the founder of the Unification Church, which combines strains of Chistianity with elements of Buddhism and Confucianism.
In recent years, Moon has taken to calling his organization the Association of Families or Unification and World Peace and has branched out into a number of commercial enterprises including several newspapers and hotels around the world.
Cene's participaton in the Mato Grosso do Sul state championships still requires approval from the state's soccer council. Nobody was available at Moon's New Hope Ranch to comment on the reports.
Brazil's soccer coach sees popularity plummet
Despite wins, Brazil's national soccer team coach has seen his popularity plummet from 80 percent in August to around 50 percent, according to a study pblished Sunday.
The poll, conducted five months after Wanderley Luxemburgo was named Brazil's soccer coach, was based on interviews with 630 people and gave a margin of error as plus or minus percent.
The poll was carried out by Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.
Brazil leads Group A in the South American pre-Olympic tournament -- having beat Venezuela 3-0, Ecuador 2-0 and tying Chile 1-1. Going into Sunday's game against Colombia, the team would have to suffer a 5-0 defeat to lose their grip on first place.
But fans interviewed by the paper said Luxemburgo lacked creativity in his coaching style, relied excessively on defense and had an authoritarian nature.
FIFA chief wants to see an Africa host World Cup
The president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, on Sunday expressed his hope that an African nation host the 2006 World Cup soccer championship, saying it would be a good way for Europeans to pay back a continent which provides so many good players.
South Africa and Morocco are candidates to organize the 2006 World Cup, and inspectors from FIFA, soccer's governing body, were to visit both nations shortly, Blatter said.
Germany, Britain and Brazil are also candidates for the event. FIFA is to announce the winner at a July 5-6 meeting.
"Africa should have its chance to organize the World Cup," Blatter said on a sports television show. "It's not just logical. It's a return payment, especially on the part of Europe, which takes good African players."
"We have to show a bit of solidarity," Blatter said.