FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has revealed that the Rio de Janeiro authorities have given him guarantees that the city’s Maracana stadium will be able to host Confederations Cup games in June, but admitted that there is “no plan B” if the venue is not ready.
Valcke said on Thursday, 100 days before the start of the Confederations Cup, that local officials had confirmed to him that the stadium would be delivered on April 27. In November, the local organising committee for the 2014 World Cup pledged that every stadium used in the 2013 warm-up tournament would be completed by April 15.
“You will always want perfection,” Valcke said, according to the Associated Press. “You want to be ready with 100 days prior to the competition. You want to have nothing to look at because all is ready to be opened or to be used 100 days before the competition. But we know that it’s not the way it works. It’s rare that things are on time.” Valcke said more than 500,000 tickets have already been sold for the Confederations Cup, which starts on June 15.
Valcke said that Rio’s authorities and the constructors working on Maracana’s revamp would meet on Friday to finalise the Maracana’s delivery schedule. “There is no Plan B,” he added. “That’s why we are pushing and making sure that all the people involved are meeting regularly to ensure that we have the stadiums ready for the Confederations Cup. We took the decision to play in six stadiums, there’s a match schedule, we sold tickets from the six stadiums already and there’s no possibility to change it.” Valcke said it would be ideal to have three test events at each stadium but added that two will be “fine”.