By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Jerôme Valcke, the FIFA general secretary, once again criticized the delays in building the stadiums that will host the World Cup yesterday. With less than fifty days now until the tournament kicks-off in São Paulo, Mr. Valcke expressed concern that three of the twelve stadiums have not yet been completed.

Jerôme Valcke, FIFA World Cup, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Jerôme Valcke, the FIFA general secretary, photo by Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil.

The Arena Corinthians in São Paulo, which will host the opening ceremony and game, the Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá and the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba have yet to be handed over to FIFA. World football’s governing body had initially set a deadline of December 31, 2013.

Yesterday Valcke was at the Arena da Baixada to check on the progress made since FIFA were forced to offer an ultimatum to stadium administrators in mid-February. Yet there remains much to be done before June to the terraces.

According to Mr. Valcke only two-thirds of the seating has been installed. As a result, the stadium will receive only one test event prior to the World Cup, to be played either on May 13th or 14th.

The Arena da Baixada is scheduled to be handed over to FIFA on May 22nd. Valcke was tentative in his appraisal of the advances made on building works in Curitiba. “Some work has been done since February. But there is still work to be done. We will have only one test event here, instead of three or four,” he said.

Valcke did not spare the Arena Corinthians criticism either, confirming the stadium would only be finished at the last minute. “There will be a test event [at the Arena Corinthians] in the middle of May, with the stadium completely full,” he said.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


  1. What a shame… They had a chance of a life time to prove too the world that the nea sayers were wrong about brazil. But guess they were right. Either way this still will be the best World Cup ever seen and this will make everything right at the end…. Forca brasil!

  2. I hope you’re right, Alex. I just wish I could go to one of the games here in São Paulo.

    Futebol is practically the national religion and yet they couldn’t overcome what I consider to be certain cultural obstacles to get these finished in time to shine for the world.

  3. I hope Jerôme Valcke knows that 7 human beings have died due to poor working conditions as a result of the world cup. The question one might ask is: At what cost?


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