BRASILIA: Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has put his credibility on the line – by order of the President – in telling FIFA that Recife’s new stadium will be ready in time to host matches in next summer’s Confederations Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Jerome Valcke, secretary-general of the world federation and its World Cup progress-chaser, had reiterated concerns last month about the pace of construction and warned the Brazilians their stadia guarantees should now be watertight.
The other Confederation Cup venues next June will be Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.
Rebelo has insisted that the Arena Pernambuco will be completed by April though media reports in Brazil at the weekend suggested he was acting under orders from state President Dilma Rousseff.
She has particular political concerns to keep happy Eduardo Campos, the ambitious and powerful state governor. Campos is president of the Brazilian Socialist Party which provides informal support for Rousseff’s own Workers’ Party (PT) but is a potential rival to her in the next presidential elections, scheduled for . . . 2014.
Simultaneously another of FIFA’s concerns about the organisation of the Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup is being justified with reports of massive budget overruns.
A spending audit has reported that work to build and/or redevelop the six Confed Cup venues will cost R$3,97bn [£1.2bn]. This is three times the cost of the comparative stadia work undertaken on five venues before the same event in Germany in 2005 and more than 10 times the expenditure on four stadia by the South Africans for 2009.
Part of the difference is explained by the fact that Brazil plans to use six venues with greater capacity than those used in 2005 and 2009. Both Rio’s Maracana and Brasilia’s Mane Garrincha stadium will have 70,000-plus capacities.