SAO PAULO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian 2014 World Cup
organisers are confident Sao Paulo will stage the opening game
of the tournament even though plans for its stadium have yet to
Ricardo Teixeira, president of both the Brazilian Football
Confederation (CBF) and the 2014 local organising committee,
initially said on Monday that he was certain that the tournament
would kick off in Latin America's largest city.
"We have absolute certainty and we desire that the World Cup
opening will be in Sao Paulo," Teixeira told reporters after a
meeting with Sao Paulo state governor Alberto Goldman and mayor
However, Teixeira later said in a statement that plans to
use a new stadium built by the Corinthians club for the match
had to be approved by football's governing body FIFA.
Corinthians also said that it was early days.
"There is a project for a 65,000 capacity stadium being
analysed by the local and national authorities," the club said
in a statement.
"This can only be definitively detailed and its costs and
financing necessities calculated, after it has been revised and
approved by FIFA."
Corinthians added that it was predicted that work would
start next March and would be finished at the end of 2013 - too
late for the Confederations Cup which will used as a dressed
Confusion has surrounded Sao Paulo's participation in the
World Cup since June when the local organising committee dropped
plans to use the Morumbi stadium.
The decision came after the city failed to provide financial
guarantees for the cost of renovating the stadium.
Since then, hopes have been placed on the planned new
Corinthians stadium in the sprawling eastern suburbs of the
city. The club, one of the biggest in Brazil, announced it
September that it would build a 48,000 capacity-stadium at a
cost of 335 million reais (197 million dollars).
The stadium will be built and financed by the Odebrecht
construction company which will be given naming rights in
However, FIFA demands a capacity of at least 65,000 for a
stadium to stage the opening match at the World Cup, which would
increase the cost and has become the subject of negotiations
between the club and organising committee.
Goldman was confident the increased cost could be met.
"We believe that together, we can find a way out for this,"
he said. "We have managed to do everything we need to get to
Monday's announcement came after a weekend in which armed
attacks on world champion Jenson Button and a group of team
engineers marred the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix in the
city, highlighting worries about crime rates.
Brazil was elected unopposed in 2007 to host the tournament
which was earmarked for South America by FIFA under a
short-lived rotation system which also brought this year's World
Cup to Africa.
The country faces a huge job to improve its creaking
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