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“Without a stadium, we can't organize a match”, FIFA warns city of Curitiba

Wednesday, January 22nd 2014 - 16:59 UTC
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“Not only is it very behind in its construction, but it has failed to meet any of the deadlines set by FIFA”, said Valcke. “Not only is it very behind in its construction, but it has failed to meet any of the deadlines set by FIFA”, said Valcke.

Curitiba risks being dropped as a venue for this year's World Cup finals if work on the Arena da Baixada stadium there fails to make significant progress, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Tuesday. Curitiba is set to host four group matches, including the meeting of holders Spain and Australia.

 “We cannot organize a match without a stadium, this has reached a critical point,” said Valcke.

Valcke, who has not held back from making critical remarks about preparations in the host nation during the lead-up to the finals, said he hoped rapid progress would be made so that Curitiba would not miss out on hosting matches.

“What is there to say?” said Valcke, speaking after paying a visit to the stadium.

“It is a delicate question. But let us be frank and direct about it.

”As you must know the present situation at the stadium is not to our liking.

“Not only is it very behind in its construction, but it has failed to meet any of the deadlines set by FIFA.

”It is not that we want the stadium to be ready by February 18, but simply that we want to see progress made (by the time of the next FIFA evaluation visit). A lot of people want to come here, the World Cup holders have to play here.

“We hope, therefore, that the conversations we have had with the State Government and the Curitiba city council will produce the desired results, which will not see the city excluded from the Cup.”

Following the conversations it was decided that a steering committee and a technical committee would be created between the parties involved - FIFA, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), the local authorities at Curitiba city hall, the Parana state government and Clube Atletico Paranaense football team - to synchronize efforts on the schedule for the stadium's delivery, as well as intensifying and supervising work on the project.

Within three weeks, the results of the first evaluation will be used as a basis to redefine Curitiba's position as a World Cup host city.

It is estimated that the stadium in Curitiba is 90% completed but, like many of the other 11 venues, it has been beset by problems. Back in December work at the stadium was temporarily halted when workers walked off the site in protest at not receiving back-pay.

As well as fatal accidents at three stadiums -- Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Manaus -- there has been widespread concern at Brazil's ability to overcome logistical issues, including a poor transport network and sky-high hotel prices.

FIFA's president Sepp Blatter earlier this month criticized the Brazilians for starting preparations too late after being selected as hosts back in 2007. The finals run from June 12 to July 13.

Top Comments

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  • ElaineB


    Jan 22nd, 2014 - 05:44 pm 0
  • Conqueror

    Never mind, Brazil. One down. Still another 11 venues to be evaluated. Got any other stadiums? I mean ones that are already built. Wonder where, and when, FIFA's cut-off point is? When they say “You blew it”.

    Jan 22nd, 2014 - 06:24 pm 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Where Brasileiro.....I want to hear his take on the wonderful Brazil and likely the last World Cup in SA.

    Jan 22nd, 2014 - 06:51 pm 0
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