World Cup chit-chat: Van Gaal outlines Dutch preparations
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal will take a group of home-based players to a training camp next month at the start of his World Cup preparations, the Dutch football association said on Friday.
He will start on May 7 in Hoenderloo with the best of the Dutch league players plus some from the country's Under-21 side who will be preparing nearby for European Championship qualifiers, team manager Hans Jorristma said at a presentation of the country's World Cup plans.
Van Gaal, who will announce the first group of selected players on May 2, will host three camps of three days each.
Van Gaal expects his foreign-based contingent to join up from the second camp as they build towards a warm-up friendly against Ecuador in Amsterdam on May 17.
Van Gaal intends to announce his final 23-man World Cup squad on June 2. The Dutch then fly to Rio de Janeiro and will train at Flamengo's facilities where they have sent experts to get the pitch into shape.
The Netherlands meet holders Spain in their opening game at the World Cup in a repeat of the 2010 final on June 13 in Salvador. They also face Australia and Chile in Group B.
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Image: A Dutch soccer fan smiles as she makes her way to watch a public screening
Photographs: Paul Vreeker/United Photos/Reuters
Work to restart at Sao Paulo World Cup stadium
Brazil's Labour Ministry has granted permission for work to resume on temporary seating at the stadium that will host the World Cup opening match and the ground should now be ready by mid-May, officials said on Friday.
Work on installing almost half of the 20,000 temporary seats at Sao Paulo's Arena Corinthians was halted last month after a worker fell to his death, the third fatality at the site in four months.
The company responsible for installing the seats, Fast Engenheria, said it would immediately restart work on the temporary grandstands at the north end of the stadium.
"Even though work was interrupted for almost two weeks Fast retains its commitment to deliver the temporary grandstands in the promised timeframe, with work scheduled to finish in the first half of May," the company said in a statement.
The Arena Corinthians was built to seat 48,000 fans but another 20,000 seats are being added for the World Cup.
It is one of three World Cup stadiums yet to be finished.
Image: A view of the construction of stadium
Photographs: Bruno Kelly/Reuters