With Another World Cup Venue Complete, Concerns Remain Over Building Delays
The new Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, was "inaugurated in a ceremony attended by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff," but there was "little reason to celebrate Wednesday amid doubts about when or even if the remaining five venues will be ready in time" for the '14 FIFA World Cup in June, according to Tales Azzoni of the AP. Brazil's World Cup organizing committee "admitted FIFA might have to consider reshuffling the tournament's matches, which would be an embarrassment for the country and disastrous for football's governing body as more than 1 million game tickets have already been sold." The delay in building the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba is "the biggest problem so far." FIFA and local organizers "will make another evaluation there Feb. 18, but even if Curitiba is kept as a host city, the stadium isn't likely to be ready until a few weeks before the World Cup" (AP, 1/22).