FIFA's Jérôme Valcke Confirms Curitiba Will Remain World Cup Host City
Curitiba, Brazil "narrowly avoided being struck from the list of World Cup venues Tuesday" after FIFA officials came away from a "last-minute visit to the city's stadium convinced that the facility will be ready in time," according to Paul Kiernan of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke informed Curitiba Mayor Gustavo Fruet Tuesday that the city will "remain on the list of 12 host cities" for the World Cup in June and July. Valcke had said in January that the stadium was "very delayed" and "might not be ready in time for the tournament, sparking an 11th-hour scramble by local authorities." Valcke tweeted, "Curitiba (has been) confirmed as a World Cup venue, based on the financial guarantees, commitment by all stakeholders and progress made. It's a race against a very tight timeline. Collective effort by all the stakeholders involved in Curitiba must continue at (the) highest pace." Mario Celso Cunha of the Paraná state government said that Curitiba's stadium has "had turf laid, its roof finished, thousands of seats installed and made a number of other advancements since the previous visit by FIFA officials." Cunha said that the facility "should be completed by the end of April" (WSJ, 2/18).