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World Cup coaches gather in Brazil for workshop

An aerial view shows the Arena das Dunas stadium, which will host matches for the 2014 soccer World Cup, in Natal January 22, 2014. REUTERS/
An aerial view shows the Arena das Dunas stadium, which will host matches for the 2014 soccer World Cup, in Natal January 22, 2014. REUTERS/

By Mark Gleeson

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil (Reuters) - All 32 coaches of the World Cup finalists are scheduled to gather in one of the Brazil's leading tourist resorts for a workshop this week as the country seeks to put its best foot forward months before the kick off of the 2014 finals.

Cloudy conditions and rain on Santa Catalina Island will take some of the shine off the usually hot and humid tropical paradise as participants debate and discuss the finer details of the tournament.

Usually the workshop is more of an information seminar for FIFA, which gathers together not only the coaches but delegation leaders, team managers, security officers, team doctors and media personnel from each qualified nation.

They undertake a thorough run-through of the rules and regulations, from major issues such as transport and training to more mundane things like the maximum permissible size of equipment manufacturers' logos on the players' kits.

Ahead of recent World Cups, however, there has been lively debate among the coaches, who use the rare opportunity of direct access to organizers to voice concerns over issues like the number of preparatory days, exacting travel schedules and training facilities.

The vast distances in Brazil and expected heat and humidity are likely to be raised, although they will do little to change plans which have long been put in place by world soccer's governing body.

Input from past workshops, always held behind closed doors, has helped to refine complex hosting arrangements in subsequent tournaments, FIFA officials told Reuters on Monday.

Among the issues up for discussion on Wednesday is likely to the question of multiple water breaks during matches in some extremely hot and humid venues.

The coaches will meet for a half-day session on Wednesday after which they assemble for their now traditional collective photo - a one-off picture of every coach participating at the World Cup.

Participants will discuss security issues on Thursday.

(Editing by Ed Osmond; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com; +27 82 8257807; Reuters Messaging: mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; To sign up for our Global Sports Forum chatroom, click on https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/global_sports_forum) nL3N0LM32M

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