SAO PAULO: Next problem for FIFA and the World Cup organisers is lack of time to build the ‘temporary village’ essential for facilities at the stadium which will host the Opening Match.
The initial issue with Sao Paulo was having any stadium at all for the World Cup kickoff; political wrangles ruled out the Morumbi so the choice fell on a new stadium for Corinthians.
Time taken to sort out planning and funding means that the stadium has yet to be ‘delivered’ some four months beyond the ‘final deadline’ of December 31, 2013 which had been set by Jerome Valcke, secretary-general and World Cup supreme of world federation FIFA.
Stadia are build from the inside which means the last areas to be completed are the approach and access areas. These are the zones in which FIFA demands the organisers must build the temporary village to house security facilities, hospitality and media sectors.
Valcke, in Brazil for his latest review of progress, said that completion of temporary structures at the Itaquero stadium was a long way off. As with Porto Alegre part of the problem concerns the cost which is down to the stadium owner – but Corinthians have refused to pay.
Valcke said: “We have no solution yet. Hopefully see you tomorrow. You can not change a game opening Cup. The opening will be in Sao Paulo. There is no other option.”
Corinthians president Mario Gobbi said: “What they want are improvements which will be of use only for the World Cup and are of no use to Corinthians.
“I think every one should know their duty and responsibility within the context of bringing the World Cup to the country. It’s not fair or ethical or moral for Corinthians to pay for something they will not use and from which they will not benefit. So this is not our problem.”
At least tomorrow the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba will stage its first test event, a friendly against Atletico Paranaense in front of 10,000 spectators.
Luis Fernandes, deputy sports ministry, said: “As planned, Curitiba is with the work on time and with the quality required to host the World Cup matches.”