FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has conceded that “operational arrangements” for Brazil’s 2013 Confederations Cup will not be at 100%, warning that this situation will be “impossible to repeat” for the World Cup itself.
Valcke’s comments come as the third of 12 stadiums that will host the 2014 World Cup, Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova, was inaugurated on Friday – three months after the original deadline set by world football’s governing body. The new 56,000-seat stadium, built at a cost of R$592 million (US$296.6 million), will be one of six used during June’s Confederations Cup, hosting three games before staging six matches during the World Cup. Writing in his column on FIFA.com, Valcke described the coming weeks as an “acid test” for Confederations Cup stakeholders, adding that the final three venues are expected to be delivered on April 14 (Recife), April 21 (Brasilia) and April 27 (Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana).
“For the FIFA Confederations Cup we will make it – it will be a fantastic tournament– but not all operational arrangements will be 100%,” Valcke wrote. “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.”
He continued: “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 (local organising committee). The deadline for the FIFA World Cup stadiums delivery stands firm as December 2013. There will be no compromise. Organising a FIFA World Cup is an infinitely more complex and demanding job than staging the FIFA Confederations Cup, with only 25% of the number of matches. In 2014 we expect more than half a million international visitors alone, and in total, more than three million spectators flocking to the 12 stadiums. The scale and magnitude of the FIFA World Cup requires a minimum six month operational set-up.”