After delay, FIFA to intensify stadium monitoring

FIFA will intensify its monitoring of the stadiums being

prepared for the upcoming Confederations Cup after local organizers

delayed the finish date of the venue hosting the opening match in

Brasilia.

Football’s governing body also reiterated Tuesday that such

delays ”will not be tolerated” ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

A day after the delay announced in Brasilia and less than two

months before the Confederations Cup, FIFA met with local officials

and the local 2014 World Cup organizing committee in the nation’s

capital and announced it will make a new inspection visit at the

Estadio Nacional in two weeks.

The stadium was expected to be opened on Sunday, but problems

with the pitch forced organizers to change the date to May 18, just

three days before FIFA takes over all six Confederations Cup

venues.

”FIFA and the LOC demonstrated concern with the tight deadlines

and the short period available for the test events that guarantee

the operational success of events with the size of the FIFA

Confederations Cup,” FIFA and the local organizing committee said

in a joint statement.

”The daily and on-site monitoring of the stadium construction

works and the hiring and assembling of the temporary structures by

the LOC operational teams already working in the six FCC host

cities will be also intensified,” they said.

Officials in Brasilia blamed excessive rain in the region for

the disruption of the installation schedule of the pitch. FIFA made

it clear that it won’t accept these types of excuses ahead of the

World Cup.

”FIFA and the LOC highlight one more time that it is exactly

because of natural challenges faced in big construction works –

like the heavy rains observed in Brasilia – that the stadiums must

be ready enough time before and stress again that delays like the

ones observed will not be tolerated for the (World Cup) stadiums,”

the statement said.

FIFA and the local organizing committee noted that the World Cup

involves a ”significantly higher number of host cities, teams,

fans, matches, journalists and TV audience.”

”This means that the flexibility observed in the deadlines for

the FIFA Confederations Cup will not be the same for the FIFA World

Cup, when no exception will be made and all FIFA World Cup stadiums

must be delivered by end of December 2013 with no compromises to be

made by FIFA,” the statement said.

FIFA originally wanted all Confederations Cup stadiums ready by

last December but made an exception in Brazil because of delays

with several venues, including at the Maracana Stadium, which will

host the tournament’s final in Rio de Janeiro on June 30. Local

organizers then set April 15 as the deadline for the stadiums, but

only three made it.

FIFA said it would be ideal to have three test events in each of

the six venues, but Secretary General Jerome Valcke recently

admitted that at this stage two would be fine.

Brasilia Gov. Agnelo Queiroz, who participated in Tuesday’s

meeting, guaranteed that the Estadio Nacional will be ready for the

test events scheduled for May 18 and May 26.

”We are not going to risk the stadium delivery because of the

problem with the pitch,” he said.

The stadium is set to open the Confederations Cup with a match

between Brazil and Japan.

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