May 30, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
This is getting a little bit silly now, isn’t it?
With less than two weeks to go until the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, FIFA are still talking about stadiums not being ready and a “race against time” to finish up construction in host cities.
The issues across Brazil have been widespread and problematic for a long period of time — deaths to construction workers, arguments over the financing of venues, workers going on strike, accidents damaging the stadiums and many more infrastructure issues have hampered the progress — and FIFA’s general Secretary Jerome Valcke has voiced his concerns over stadium construction during almost every visit to the South American country over the past 12 months.
On Thursday Vaclke completed his tour of all 12 World Cup host cities for one final check up. He still has concerns over stadiums in Porto Alegre, Natal and Sao Paulo but admitted that he is satisfied with progress at the nine other venues.
The stadium at the center of of this latest panic is in Sao Paulo, as the Itaquerao will host the World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia on June 12. Less than two weeks from now. The venue has yet to be tested fully with a capacity crowd of 70,000. On Sunday a Brazilian league match between Corinthians and Botafogo will only host 40,000 fans because temporary seats recently installed have not yet been certified by local building authorities.
FIFA wanted to play the league match so close to the start of the tournament so it could be fully tested but with the club who owns the venue, Corinthians, not being able to gain the required permits for the temporary seating, there will not be a full test on the stadium the entire world will be looking at in 13 days time.
Head of state, soccer legends, 70,000 fans and both teams won’t be sure what kind of stadium they will be turning up to on June 12 when it all begins. As long as it is safe, that is, of course, the main thing.
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