FIFA accept Confederations Cup failings

05 April 2013 06:46

World governing body FIFA on Friday accepted that Brazil will not be entirely ready to host June's Confederations Cup - but warned it would expect tip-top organisation for next year's World Cup finals.

Secretary General Jerome Valcke warned that any compromises on the organisation of the World Cup "will be impossible" as Brazil strains to complete a huge multi-billion dollar infrastrucural overhaul in order to ready itself for hosting two of the largest sports events in the world -- with the Olympic Games due to be hosted by Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

FIFA have voiced concerns that some venues face a race against the clock to be ready - including the legendary Maracana stadium in Rio, currently being refurbished.

"For the FIFA Confederations Cup we will make it - it will be a fantastic tournament, but not all operational arrangements will be 100 per cent," said Valcke in an update on the FIFA website.

"It is impossible to expect this to happen in the shortened preparation time - in most cases less than two months - instead of the scheduled six, due to the compromises we made with the (Confederations Cup host) cities.

"I want to reiterate: This will be impossible to repeat for the FIFA World Cup, and has been acknowledged by the federal government and LOC (local organising committee). The deadline for the FIFA World Cup stadiums delivery stands firm as December 2013. There will be no compromise," Valcke insisted.

Valcke has made several trips to Brazil to monitor preparations and says he is generally positive.

"The feedback I received from the operational meetings organised by the federal government together with the LOC - in each of the six host cities - was positive; we undoubtedly have the full commitment of everyone involved," Valcke stated.

But he warned staging a World Cup, the first in Brazil since 1950, was a clear step up from the Confederations event, which involves just eight teams.

"Organising a FIFA World Cup is an infinitely more complex and demanding job than staging the FIFA Confederations Cup, with only 25 percent of the number of matches.

"In 2014 we expect more than half a million international visitors alone and, in total, more than three million spectators flocking to the 12 stadiums.

"The scale and magnitude of the FIFA World Cup requires a minimum six-month operational set-up."

Friday saw final delivery of the third of six stadiums to be used in the Confederations tournament starting on June 15, when the hosts take on Asian champions Japan.

Twelve venues will share the 64-match World Cup in what will be a logistically far more complicated operation.

President Dilma Rousseff was on hand Friday to see the Fonte Nova de Salvador stadium delivered in the northeastern state of Bahia.

Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza have already come on stream but work continues at three others - including the Maracana, which will host the final and whose completion date is slated for April 27.

Recife is set to be complete by April 14 and Brasilia a week later.

Valcke indicated that the requisite telecommunications infrastructure for the World Cup was set to be completed by January of next year.

Valcke will visit the Natal stadium in May and then in June FIFA President Sepp Blatter will tour all 12 World Cup venues.

More than 546,000 Confederations Cup tickets have already been sold to date - two thirds of them inside Brazil - a record for the event.

As well as Japan, Brazil will also welcome world champions Spain, Mexico, Uruguay, Italy, Nigeria and minnows Tahiti to the June event, with Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Salvador, Recife and Belo Horizonte hosting the venues.

Source: AFP