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Three World Cup venues will not meet December 31 deadline

Three more venues for next year’s World Cup will be delivered past FIFA’s now redundant December 31 deadline, Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said yesterday.

Rio de Janeiro
The official ball to be used in 2014 FIFA World Cup “The Brazuca” is unveiled in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. The ball, weighing 437 grammes, underwent two-and-half years of testing by 600 players. The manufacturers are confident the ‘Brazuca’ will not come in for the same level of criticism as its offering for the 2010 tournament. Pic/AFP

World football’s governing body FIFA on Tuesday backtracked after months of insisting it would not extend the deadline for all 12 Brazilian host arenas to be completed.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians would get more time following last week’s crane accident in which two construction workers died.

FIFA also gave more time for Cuiaba and Curitiba as both venues struggle to complete work.

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

Wednesday, Rebelo said stadiums in Porto Alegre, Manaus and Natal would also be handed over after the original December 31 deadline owing, not to laggardly construction but to the agenda of President Dilma Rousseff.

“There are delays but they will not be significant. What matters is that we are ready to go in January,” Rebelo said in the northeastern Bahia state resort of Costa do Sauipe.

He partly attributed the delay to Rousseff’s crowded Christmas and New Year agenda. He added that Curitiba had suffered from funding problems — but would be ready in late January rather than late February as stated by FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke on Tuesday.

“But these stadiums will be delivered with a good time for the pre-World Cup tests,” said Rebelo, who said Rousseff would oversee delivery of the six as yet incomplete venues.

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