The 32-nation tournament will take place at 12 venues across Brazil from June 12 to July 13.
The 32 teams will be placed into eight groups for the first rounds of the tournament. The top two teams from each group will then advance to the playoffs.
Spain won the last World Cup, held in South Africa, in 2010.
The World Cup is watched by more people than any other sporting event on the planet, with an estimated 3.2 billion people, or about 46% of the world’s population, watching at least part of the coverage from South Africa in 2010.
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When TIME announced on Thursday that Egypt’s Defense Minister, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, had topped TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year poll with more than 440,000 votes his supporters were triumphant. Ahmed Abu Hashima, an Egyptian steel magnate and Sisi supporter, was one of the first to publicly congratulate Sisi on Twitter. Writing in Arabic, he called the victory an, “appreciation for [Sisi’s] national role and the love of Egyptians towards him.”
Sisi’s success reflected the genuine popularity of a man who led what was essentially a military coup in July against the democratically elected government of then President Mohammed Morsi. Sisi remains the most powerful political figure in Egypt. The win was driven by hundreds of thousands of votes from inside Egypt; the country of about 85 million provided more votes than more populous nations like India and the United States. Many of those voters came via websites like…
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Desmond Tutu once told me he believed prison was the making of Nelson Mandela. “I often surprise people when I say this,” he said. “Suffering can lead to bitterness. But suffering is also the infallible test of the openness of a leader, of their selflessness.” When Mandela had gone to jail, he had been “one of the most angry,” said Tutu. “The suffering of those 27 years helped to purify him and grow the magnanimity that would become his hallmark.” Jail helped Mandela learn how to make enemies into friends, said Tutu. It also gave him an unassailable credibility. “When you speak of forgiveness, 27 years in prison sets you up very nicely,” he said.
As free South Africa remembered its founding father Friday after his death at 95 the night before, many of the most eloquent commemorations also seemed to have a connection to Mandela’s time in jail…
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God bless these nuns.