The Brazilian city of Curitiba has been reaffirmed as a venue for the upcoming 2014 World Cup.
FIFA's media department confirmed the news via its official Twitter account on Tuesday:
Curitiba confirmed as #WorldCup venue, based on the financial guarantees, the commitment by all stakeholders & progress made. (1/2)— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 18, 2014
It’s a race against a very tight timeline. Collective effort by all stakeholders involved in Curitiba must continue at highest pace. (2/2)— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 18, 2014
As FIFA points out, officials will be scrambling to prepare the venue in time for this summer's month-long tournament, set to begin June 12.
According to Sky News, FIFA had been contemplating potentially shutting down construction on the Curitiba venue—estimated to be roughly 90 percent complete—in order to avoid unnecessary disruption for players and fans. The venue is scheduled to host four matches this summer.
No surprise FIFA confirming Curitiba as #WorldCup venue - after years of investment/new stadium they could hardly pull plug now— David Bond (@DavidBondBBC) February 18, 2014
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke was critical of the building process heading into Tuesday's decision, per Sky News:
"We cannot organise a match without a stadium, this has reached a critical point. Not only is it very behind in its construction, but it has failed to meet any of the deadlines set by FIFA."
While many, including Valcke are concerned with the current state of the venue, others such as England manager Roy Hodgson aren't sweating the stadium dilemma, per Sky News:
If you were forced into a last minute change I'm pretty sure it wouldn't cause any major disruptions. But I still rather hope that Curitiba, like all the other stadiums, will be ready on time and there won't be any need for that (to move matches). If I was in that situation where it was being threatened I think I'd be working on the basis of 'I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.'
However, England aren't one of the eight teams scheduled to play in Curitiba during the group stage this summer. Among those teams who could face potential disruption are Russia and reigning World Cup champions Spain.
Although FIFA's concerns suggest there's a decent chance that the venue won't be complete in time for its first match on June 16, with close to four months remaining before the collective eyes of the world shift to Brazil, there's also a strong possibility the brand-new stadium will be ready to go.
For now, it remains to be seen how FIFA's decision will impact the 2014 World Cup. But with only four total matches scheduled in Curitiba, it appears unlikely that a failed build would be enough to derail the global spectacle.
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