FIFA warns host cities in Brazil, as rush to finish venues continue

2 Comments

World soccer’s governing body FIFA seem to be running out of patience with host cities in Brazil that are way behind in their preparations for this summer’s World Cup.

On Friday FIFA’s general secretary Jerome Valcke has issued a stark warning to the 12 host cities, that they must continue to push on if every venue will be ready in time for kick off in June.

Speaking in his latest column on FIFA’s website, Valcke stated there’s still a long road ahead to finish things off, and revealed a decision will be made on Curitiba next week, as to whether or not the stadium will be ready for the 2014 World Cup.

“None of the 12 cities can afford to sit back and relax,” Valcke said. “There’s still plenty of fine-tuning to be done. We are closely monitoring the works in Curitiba in order to assess the situation there. We will communicate the final decision to the teams, as promised, on 18 February when the Team Workshop starts in Florianopolis.”

MORE: 2014 World Cup Draw – Full schedule for all group games

The building of the World Cup stadiums has been arduous and riddle with disasters across Brazil, as the South American nation is rallying to try and get all the work done in time. Five construction workers have already lost their lives, with three already killed in the Amazonian city of Manaus in the extreme North of Brazil. Add to that the  huge outcry against the public spending on the tournament and anti-Government protests and many of the projects have been put way behind schedule.

If Curitiba is not deemed ready to host World Cup games next week, it’s believed the four group matches set to take place there will be relocated to some of the 11 other host venues.

FIFA, like everybody, will be hoping that’s not the case. But as time ticks away and stadiums still resemble construction sites across Brazil, it seems likely that the most pessimistic outcome could become reality. Some of the host cities for soccer’s biggest tournament this summer are in serious danger of being left out of the party.