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FIFA threatens to strip Brazilian city Curitiba of 2014 World Cup host duty

Jan 22, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

Brazil WCup FIFA Visit

Talk of stripping the World Cup from Brazil has long since moved to backburners, never mind the fears of behemoth traffic jams, ugly unrest borne of economic disparity, the overarching stadium construction snags and so on. Details, details.

But could the games be stripped from one of the venues? A top FIFA official has threatened so as southern Brazilian city’s stadium has become a serious laggard in its get-ready efforts.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, who certainly has been making quite a bit of news lately, said work is so far behind at the Arena da Baixada stadium (the photo at right was taken Tuesday) that its standing as a World Cup host was in serious jeopardy. A decision on whether Curitiba’s lucrative host duties will be stripped away will happen during a series of World Cup workshops beginning Feb. 18 in Brazil.

The workshops include teams, media and FIFA staff. “Important information” will be given to teams, according to world soccer’s governing body.

As FIFA promoted through its website that Curitiba is pepping up the pace of construction, here is what Valcke had to say. You be the judge as to whether this is serious business, or just a slight escalation of the usual pre-tournament bluster we get when individual venues or entire countries fall predictably behind on the stadiums, infrastructure, etc.

To be very honest, the situation as it stands is not ideal. The stadium is very delayed and well outside the delivery schedule to ensure best use by FIFA and the FIFA World Cup. But we have to be positive and that’s why we have come together, as the main driving forces involved, to find solutions. By 18 February … we have to decide between us – the city of Curitiba, the state of Parana, Clube Atletico Paranaense football team, the LOC and FIFA – whether the stadium is in a position on that date to give us the confidence to hold World Cup matches there, without risking the organisation of the event. We will have people from FIFA and the LOC monitoring the stadium’s progress on a daily basis and we will work together to guarantee that Curitiba will host FIFA World Cup games.”

  1. dfstell - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    I also don’t think I’d want to attend a game in a hastily constructed stadium that will be full of tens of thousands of bouncing fans. It sounds like a scene from one of those Discover Channel shows about disasters where they’d chronicle how the stadium fell behind schedule and to make up time, they used substandard concrete and unlicensed contractors to finish the job.

    It also illustrates how terrible it is that FIFA makes a country build all these stadia. Clearly the people of Curitiba don’t need the stadium for normal activities or they would have finished the job by now. They’re spending a fortune to build this just for the World Cup. I’m sure they have better things to spend the money on.

  2. chadmoon1 - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Here is the problem from FIFA’s point of view. Brazil has had ample time to build this stadium. But for reasons that we cannot comprehend, they are woefully behind. Same with the surrounding infastructure. The airport in Fortaleza will have a tent for an intake gate. A tent!!! All this will be substandard at best. But they only have themselves to blame, as the government is run by grifters and thieves.

    As for use after the WC, the local club will use the stadium, which will be a major upgrade from what they had.

    Meanwhile, the USA is ready, willing, and perfectly able to host as soon as next month.

  3. lvar12 - Jan 22, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    I understand that this is a world game and event but it does not make any sense to go to countries that do not already have the infrastructure and stadiums in place or the money to establish it, a lot of these countries build stadiums that are not going to be used after or if they are will not be used at full capacity. I think it should go between only the US and Europe then when a country can prove that they have everything ready then they can be awarded one. They could even do a revenue sharing program with the countries that are involved in the World Cup to help in the process. Traveling from one city to another is going to be nightmare so you pretty much just have to stay in one and who isn’t going to pick Rio or Sao Paulo.

  4. geojock - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    Central & South Americans are always late. How do people not know this!

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