World Cup stadiums handed over to FIFA officials

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke arrived in Brazil on Monday to oversee the final preparations for the World Cup, saying he expects “busy days ahead” to make sure everything is ready in time.

5 months late, FIFA finally takes over Brazil's delayed venues

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke says there are "busy days ahead" as Brazil struggles with stadium delays ahead of the World Cup. (Steffen Schmidt/The Associated Press)

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke arrived in Brazil on Monday to oversee the final preparations for the World Cup, saying he expects “busy days ahead” to make sure everything is ready in time.

The FIFA official in charge of the tournament arrived a day after Brazil held the last two test events at its delayed stadiums, including at the Sao Paulo venue that will host the opener in a few weeks.

The Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo hosted a Brazil league match between Corinthians and Figueirense, and while it was deemed a success, there were a couple of problems:

  • The 3G network inside the stadium was overloaded, leaving people without cell service.  
  • Many spectators got drenched because the roof hasn't been finished. Recent reports revealed that it won't be finished in time for the World Cup opener on June 12 either. 

Valcke said he will visit all 12 host cities again “to see that the finishing touches” are completed. He said FIFA’s operational teams have “begun fanning out to the venues” for the final installations.

Brazil hands over the stadiums to the FIFA organizing committee this week, five months later than anticipated and just three weeks before the start of the tournament.

“We have busy days ahead of us with still a lot to be done,” Valcke said, calling for a collective effort by FIFA, the local World Cup organizing committee and the local governments.

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