RIO DE JANEIRO: The Mayor of Porto Alegre has tried, effectively, to coerce FIFA and the Brazilian federal government into stumping up the cash to finish essential work at the city’s World Cup stadium writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
After all the concerns about venues in Manaus, Curitiba and Sao Paulo it is the southern-most destination of the finals which is providing most headaches.
Mayor Jose Fortunati said, in an interview with local radio, that the city could pull out of the World Cup for which it is scheduled to host four group matches and one second round tie.
Fortunati said: “Our stadium itself will be ready in time for the World Cup, at least on the inside. But we don’t have the funds to pay for the exterior work which is needed to provide facilities for the media, security and hospitality – and we don’t have a Plan B.
“If there is no solution within the next few days we will have to withdraw from the World Cup.”
Fortunati claimed that the terms of the World Cup contract meant that the cost of temporary structures must be met through private finance and not municipal funds.
Jerome Valcke, the secretary-general of FIFA who is the world federation’s World Cup supreme, has returned to Brazil for a further inspection of facilities.
Yesterday he said, via Twitter: “Together with the LOC and and Brazil we’ll find solutions for the remaining challenges.”
Fortunati was clearly relying on FIFA and the federal government finding the cash to avert the chaos threatened by having to shift matches elsewhere and cope with the associated travel and accommodation chaos.