Blatter: Mid-April finish for damaged WCup stadium
The damaged stadium in Sao Paulo won’t hold its first match
until less than two months before the World Cup is to open
FIFA President Sepp Blatter set a new deadline Thursday
following a fatal construction accident at Arena Corinthians last
week. He told a news conference that April 14 or 15 is the expected
”For the time being there is no Plan B,” Blatter said,
answering speculation FIFA might seek a replacement stadium or move
matches to other cities despite many tickets already being
On June 12, the repaired stadium is to host the sold-out opening
match featuring host nation Brazil, following a lavish opening
ceremony watched by some heads of state among the invited
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke later said the mid-April
target was for the first match to test the stadium operations.
The governing body has had to compromise on its original demand
that all 12 World Cup stadiums be delivered by the end of 2013 to
allow for a minimum three test events.
Arena Corinthians was set to meet its construction deadline
before the Nov. 27 accident. Two construction workers died when a
crane crashed and damaged part of the stadium. Work has resumed
after a three-day period of mourning at the site.
Two more stadiums will be construction sites into 2014. The
southern city of Curitiba and the wetlands city of Cuiaba will not
deliver their stadiums until late January or February.
Blatter announced a FIFA gift to Brazil of up to $100 million in
a World Cup legacy for investment in soccer development, as it gave
South Africa after the 2010 tournament.
FIFA brought forward the announcement with an initial $20
million guarantee, plus more depending on the financial success of
the tournament, which is expected to generate at least $4 billion
in commercial revenue for the ruling body.
”We hope everybody is working well and at the end when we
leave, as in South Africa there will be $100 million or even more
in this trust,” Blatter said.
FIFA will also give the World Cup winner $35 million in prize
money, and all 32 competing nations will get at least $8
The figures were agreed to Thursday by FIFA’s executive
committee as part of a $576 million pot of payments. It includes a
previously agreed $70 million to clubs worldwide whose players are
selected and $100 million in a long-term insurance policy to cover
salaries of players injured on national team duty.
At the 2010 World Cup, champion Spain earned $30 million from a
$348 million teams’ prize money pot.
FIFA pays the money to the 32 national federations, which will
each get an additional $1.5 million to prepare for the June 12-July
13 tournament in Brazil.
The German federation has promised all 23 players a $407,000
bonus for winning the title.