ZURICH: Brazil has been cautioned by FIFA that it is facing “an acid test” of its preparatory work for the Confederations Cup which opens in Brasilia on June 15.
Jerome Valcke, the world football federation’s secretary-general, has warned that corners are being in a manner which will be impossible ahead of the World Cup itself next year.
A series of test events are essential for a number of the stadia with Recife (April 14), Brasilia (April 21) and Rio’s Maracana (April 27) all scheduled to all in line this month.
Valcke has said in his latest missive that “we are all working together tirelessly against the clock to make sure that the facilities will be ready to host a world-class tournament in two months.”
The world federation’s progress-chaser said he had received positive feedback from all relevant operational meetings with the Brazilian government and local organising committee.
But he added: “For the Confederations Cup we will make it – it will be a fantastic tournament– but not all operational arrangements will be 100pc.
“It is impossible to expect this to happen in the shortened preparation time – in most cases, less than two months – instead of the scheduled six, due to the compromises we made with the cities.
“I want to reiterate: this will be impossible to repeat for the FIFA World Cup and has been acknowledged by the federal government and LOC.”
Explaining the need for a stadia catch-up, he said: “The deadline for the World Cup stadia delivery stands firm as December 2013. There will be no compromise . . . The scale and magnitude of the World Cup requires a minimum six-month operational set-up.”
The need to instal all the broadcasting equipment essential to provide World Cup coverage to “nearly half of the world’s population” required a start to work no later than next January.
Hence, “while we are focused totally on delivery of the Confederations Cup, we need to keep working full speed on the 2014 infrastructure in parallel.”
The Confederations Cup features hosts Brazil, world and European champions Spain, South American champions Uruguay, European finalists Italy, CONCACAF and Olympic champions Mexico, Asian champions Japan, new African champions Nigeria and Tahiti (Oeania).
Brazil has managed to put half a smile on Valcke’s face: two-thirds of the tickets have already been sold in Brazil, the best sales record to date in Confed Cup history.
# # # #