Valcke: No compromises for safety in Brazil venues

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke insisted Friday that no

compromises have been made on workers’ safety as organizers try to

overcome construction delays at World Cup stadiums in Brazil.

After the deaths of three workers in less than a month, Valcke

said that safety remains paramount for World Cup organizers.

”With all deadlines in mind, there will and have not been any

compromises in terms of safety and security – a matter which is

always top priority for workers, players and fans equally,” Valcke

said in his monthly column published on FIFA’s website.

A worker fell 115 feet to his death while working on a roofing

structure in the jungle city of Manaus last Saturday, and in late

November two workers were killed when a crane collapsed in the

stadium that will host the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo on June


None of the six stadiums that had to be delivered by the end of

the year, as requested by FIFA, will be ready on time. Even more

delays are expected because of the recent accidents in construction

sites. Six other stadiums were ready for the Confederations Cup

this year.

There is still no timetable for the Arena Amazonia in Manaus,

and the venue in Sao Paulo is not expected to be ready for test

events until April, two months before it has to host the opener

between Brazil and Croatia.

”All the other five will have hosted the first of at least

three test events within the first three months of 2014,” Valcke


Valcke praised how Brazil organized the World Cup draw this

month, but said that with the event already in the past, it’s time

to start putting the finishing touches to the tournament


”The Final Draw has spurred us on and given us the impetus and

motivation to concentrate on completing the important tasks still

remaining in the final preparation phase. The clock is ticking ever

faster and the level of anticipation is rising for all of us,”

Valcke said.

”None of us organizers – FIFA, the LOC, the federal government

and the host cities – have the slightest cause to sit back and rest

on any laurels. The finishing touches are crucial, and they need to

be added in a number of areas,” the secretary general added.

After the stadiums are finally delivered, Valcke said ”the

temporary structures in all 12 stadiums need to be brought up to

FIFA World Cup standards and sizes, to name but two of the many

tasks still on the agenda.”

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