Valcke: Stadium construction on schedule in Brazil
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said Thursday he is
satisfied with stadium construction in Brazil ahead of next year’s
Confederation Cup and the 2014 World Cup.
After a three-day trip to inspect the host cities and discuss
the country’s preparations with local officials and organizers,
Valcke said work in Brazil is on schedule.
”Our greatest source of satisfaction is that we are getting
closer and closer,” Valcke said after a board meeting of the local
organizing committee in Rio de Janeiro. ”We’ve just completed
another satisfactory visit, this time to Cuiaba and Manaus, and we
are convinced that the work is right on track.”
Valcke visited the jungle city of Manaus on Tuesday and the
western city of Cuiaba on Wednesday.
The secretary general noted there was reason for some concern in
Recife, which has to be ready to host Confederations Cup matches in
2013, but he said FIFA will continue to closely monitor
construction work in the northeastern city, which has until
November to show that it can pull it off.
Salvador also has the November deadline to show it will be ready
for the Confederations Cup, the warm-up tournament which will also
be played in Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Recife and Fortaleza.
It was the third inspection visit by Valcke, who was in Recife,
Natal and Brasilia in June, and in Salvador and Fortaleza in
January. He will visit all 12 host cities by the end of the
In October, Valcke is expected to visit the southern city of
Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro, which will host the final of the
Confederations Cup and of the World Cup at the Maracana Stadium.
Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Curitiba will be next. Sao Paulo will
host the World Cup opener and the Confederations Cup draw in
Former Brazil striker Ronaldo and sports ministry official Luis
Fernandes accompanied Valcke during this week’s tour.
”With each meeting we’re working more and more closely in our
preparations for the FIFA World Cup, which is absolutely essential
to the success of both the World Cup itself and the FIFA
Confederations Cup,” Fernandes said.
FIFA announced after Thursday’s board meeting that more than
95,000 people have applied to be volunteers at the 2014 World Cup,
surpassing the numbers from Germany and South Africa in just more
than a week.
About 15,000 volunteers will be selected to work in the
tournament in Brazil, while about 7,000 will be picked for next
year’s Confederations Cup. Nearly 50,000 people applied to be
volunteers in 2006 and 70,000 in 2010, football’s governing body
”FIFA is grateful for that and would like to stress once again
that the exceptional atmosphere that surrounds the FIFA World Cup
is mainly down to the volunteers,” Valcke said.
Local World Cup organizing committee president Jose Maria Marin
said: ”I’m delighted to see the people of Brazil responding so
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