RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's 2014 World Cup
officials are lining up to debunk FIFA chief Sepp Blatter's
suggestion they are behind schedule, with Rio de Janeiro state
sports secretary Marcia Lins joining the fray on Wednesday.
"Blatter mustn't worry, the (construction) time frame will
be met," Lins said in an interview with Reuters.
FIFA president Blatter criticised on Monday what he called
Brazil's day-after-tomorrow attitude to their World Cup
He said political infighting was delaying work especially in
Rio, which is to host the final at the giant Maracana stadium (pictured),
and Sao Paulo where work has not yet begun on a venue to hold
the opening match.
The Brazilian government and the local organising committee
also said football's ruling body FIFA should not worry and invited
Blatter to come and see for himself.
"If (FIFA) have doubts they can be clarified. They can come
here and watch the work going on at the Maracana," said Lins,
repeating the invitation to Blatter.
"We have cameras monitoring the works and the local
organising committee have access. There are daily visits and
inspections that will show the Maracana won't be a problem for
the (2013) Confederations Cup," Lins added.
"The stadium will be ready in December 2012. There's no risk
of that not happening."
Lins said she was working on the basis of the Maracana being
the main arena for the Confederations Cup which will act as a
dress rehearsal for the World Cup a year later.
"It's a natural thing. One of the objectives of the
Confederations Cup is to test the stadiums for the (World) Cup.
The Maracana, apart from staging the final, will be used for
other matches," she said.
"Rio is also the gateway to Brazil which gives the stadium
even more relevance."
The project for the stadium's refurbishment is to be
officially unveiled on April 19.
It will detail all the work to be undertaken including
whether the run-down upper tier will be restored or rebuilt from
scratch - which is expected to increase costs from 705 million
reais ($428 million) to more than one billion.
"If we opt for restoring (the Maracana) it will get a new
lease of life of something over 10 years," Lins said. "If we
decide on reconstruction, that time could be 20, 30 years
depending on the materials we use."
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Manchester City and the New York Yankees have formed a new Major League Soccer team
Real Madrid president under scrutiny after latest coaching project ends in disarray
Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho will part company at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010