Brazil drops Sao Paulo stadium from 2014 World Cup

Published Jun. 16, 2010 7:15 p.m. EDT

Brazilian organizers of the 2014 World Cup have dropped Sao Paulo's Morumbi Stadium as a venue because the city has failed to provide financial guarantees.

The Brazilian soccer federation says the Morumbi will not be used, and the city's revised version of the project will not be examined.

The federation announced the decision in a statement Wednesday on its website.

The 50-year-old stadium was due for a $135 million refurbishment to create a 68,000-capacity venue for the tournament.


It was intended to host group stage and second-round matches plus a semifinal, but the project had been plagued by delays and criticized by FIFA.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said last month it was ``amazing'' that Brazil's planning for 12 venues to host the finals had fallen so far behind schedule.

``I got a report on the status quo of the Brazilian stadiums,'' Valcke said. ``There are a number with red lights already, which is amazing.

``And I am not just talking about Morumbi or Maracana stadiums, I am talking about a number of stadiums,'' he added. ``The stadiums are the basic points we need to have a World Cup, and in Brazil, for the time being, most of the deadlines are already over and we have to work on new deadlines.''

FIFA awarded the 2014 hosting rights to Brazil in October 2007 after declaring the race open only to South American countries. Brazil was the sole candidate, although it already was a strong favorite even before Colombia withdrew several months before the scheduled decision by FIFA.