FIFA notes delays in World Cup preparations
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 16, 2012 (AFP) - FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke on Tuesday highlighted major delays in preparing six Brazilian stadiums for next year's Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal event for the 2014 World Cup.
"At this time we are not in a position to have six stadiums ready for the Confederations Cup. What I can say is that we have less (than six)," he said in Belo Horizonte, one of the cities that will host the 2013 event.
"Few stadiums will be delivered on time. Things need to be speeded up for the Confederations Cup," he said.
The Confederations Cup is to be held from June 15-30, 2013, in four confirmed cities: Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, where the final and the opening game will be played respectively, as well as Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza.
FIFA is to make a final decision in November on venues depending on progress of the work on stadiums in the northern cities of Recife and Salvador.
Reports said there was particular concern about Recife's Pernambucana venue, which is only 64 percent completed eight months before the tournament opener.
"I am much more rigid that the the FIFA secretary general. None of the stadiums are ready for the Confederations Cup," said Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo.
Valcke praised the progress at the Belo Horizonte facility -- the scheduled venue for one of the semi-finals which is 84 percent completed and will be delivered in December.
"It is great to see a stadium which is nearly ready. It sends a message to the other arenas... Belo Horizonte sets an example," Valcke said.
That stadium, with a 64,000-seat capacity, will host three games of the Confederations Cup and six of the World Cup.
Wednesday, Valcke is set to inspect the works at the Porto Alegre venue, which also is running behind schedule. He plans to conclude his Brazilian visit in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.