KEIR RADNEDGE in MANAUS: FIFA is likely to confirm on Tuesday that Curitiba will remain a World Cup host venue despite a string of construction delays.
Secretary-general Jerome Valcke, the world federation’s World Cup progress-chaser, has set this as the latest of many stadia deadlines.
The significance of the date is it marks the start o the two-day team workshop in Florianopolis at which administrators and football staff of the 32 finalist nations learn all about tournament logistics.
At this late stage it is unthinkable that FIFA would exacerbate the existing confusion by dropping a venue for which tickets have already been sold.
Indeed, once the ticketing programme began a year ago all the Brazilian authorities relaxed, confident that any further threats or deadlines from FIFA would mean little.
Hence the farce this week in Manaus when the stadium opening, which President Dilma Rousseff was supposed not to attend, was postponed but she duly turned up on the set date to launch a housing project.
Valcke addressed the Curitiba issue in his monthly column on FIFA.com.
He said: “We are closely monitoring the works in Curitiba [and] will communicate the final decision to the teams as promised on February 18 when the Team Workshop starts in Florianopolis.
“The Brazilian Government, the host city and state of Parana, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee are seeking and finding solutions to help them catch up and hopefully make sure such a special city in terms of sustainability and passion for football will remain part of the FIFA World Cup line-up.”
Valcke added his usual warning that “none of the 12 cities can afford to sit back and relax – there’s still plenty of fine-tuning to be done.”
However, Valcke was confident that all the staging organisations were “working extremely hard, determined to make Brazil 2014 the ‘Copa das Copas, or simply translated: ‘the World Cup of World Cups.'”