Despite Fears Maracanã Will Not Be Ready, FA Confident Friendly Against Brazil Will Happen
The FA is "adamant that England’s pivotal friendly match in Brazil will go ahead as planned next summer," according to George Caulkin of the LONDON TIMES. On Tuesday, FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke warned that delays in stadium rebuilding "may have an impact on their preparations for the 2014 World Cup." England is due to play Brazil at the Maracanã Stadium on June 2, "four months after hosting the South Americans at Wembley." Work at the Maracanã is scheduled to be done in late February, with the Confederations Cup, which begins on June 15, "viewed as a dry run" for the World Cup. Because England’s match "falls so close" to the start of the Confederations Cup, football's governing body has the final say over whether it proceeds. Valcke said, “I know England want this game, but we have not yet approved the fixture. We will not give a certificate for this game unless we are sure that the stadium is ready and that all the proper safety and security measures are in place" (LONDON TIMES, 11/27).