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:
• The stadium set to host the opening World Cup match in less than three months opened for a brief practice session on Saturday, with construction workers taking a break to watch players step on the field for the first time. READ MORE. • There is anger over the waste and poor planning in Brazil ahead of this summer's tournament. READ MORE. • John Duerden charts the rise of Japan and South Korea in the footballing world to their pivotal clashes in 1954. READ MORE.
INTERNATIONAL BIRTHDAYS: Carlos Bilardo (1938), Wes Brown (1979), Theo Walcott (1989)
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2003, after nearly 62 years, Afghanistan won a match for the first time. They'd made their international debut in 1941, but their second match ended in a 6-0 defeat to Luxembourg at the 1948 Olympics in London. Afghanistan didn't play anyone between 1959 and 1975, then between 1984 and 2002 under Soviet and Taliban occupation. On this day in 2003 they were in Nepal for an Asian Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan and won 2-1 with the opposition missing a penalty. -- Cris Freddi
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