Valcke: It's a race to get Brazil ready for WCup

TALES AZZONI (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated PressMarch 14, 2014
Valcke: It's a race to get Brazil ready for WCup
This photo released by Portal da Copa shows Arena da Amazonia stadium on the day of its inauguration in Manaus in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, Sunday, March 9, 2014. Three stadiums still have to be finished, including the one hosting the opener in Sao Paulo in about three months. (AP Photo/Jose Zamith, Portal da Copa)

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Organizers of the World Cup are in a race to get ready, and the biggest challenge with three months to go is to install all the temporary structures needed for matches in Brazil's 12 host cities, FIFA's secretary general said Thursday.

Jerome Valcke told the cities will have ''to race'' to get stadiums, other facilities and infrastructure done in time for soccer's premiere event.

Brazilian organizers had promised to finish all stadiums by the end of last year but only six were ready. Three still aren't finished, including the one in Sao Paulo that is to host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.

''It's not just FIFA being in a race,'' Valcke said. ''It's the local organizing committee, the government and the host cities which have still to run and to race.''

Temporary structures still need to be installed outside stadiums for the media, sponsors and technical teams.

''The biggest challenge is to make sure that all what we call these temporary facilities can be in place,'' Valcke said.

He cited delays in the southern city of Porto Alegre as an example of the potential problems.

''Outside of the stadium of Porto Alegre there is no pavement. I mean, we cannot put in place all the TV compound, all the hospitality compound, all these different zones without any pavement,'' Valcke said. He said that work can take two or three months.

Also Thursday, Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo guaranteed ''the World Cup in Brazil will be the safest'' in history even though widespread demonstrations are expected across the country to protest against corruption, poor public services and the billions of dollars being spent on the World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


Tales Azzoni on Twitter: