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Officials from FIFA expressed their concern Thursday over the massive construction delays that are holding up some of the ...
sites of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. (March 27)
Tags:ap,AP News,Associated Press,fifa world cup,Football world cup,jerome valcke
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SHOTLIST:AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLYRio de Janeiro - March 27, 20141. Mid of news conference at the Maracana stadium with FIFA, Local Organising Committee and Brazilian Government officials2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General:"I'm very transparent with you: You cannot move the opening game of the World Cup here to another stadium. It has to happen in Sao Paulo, there's no other choice! You have thousands of people who have bought their tickets, we have thousands...we have the FIFA Congress, two thousand people coming from around the world to attend the FIFA Congress, all of our member associations, will be at the opening game. You have heads of state, you have a structure where the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil will happen in Sao Paulo. There's no other choice."3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General"The Host City agreement, yes, it was signed a long, long time ago, so, there is no surprise: All is written, all is signed, all the responsibility or duties from each party is very well known. And, again, these host cities have been decided by and with the Brazilian Local Organising Committee - and even at the highest level - and there is no surprise. So, it's happening. And it is a lesson that definitely we will act differently and we will have to find a different way of working for Russia 2018, where we have also 12 cities."STORYLINE:FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke expressed concerns about the progress of construction work on some of the World Cup stadia during a visit to the host country, Brazil, on Thursday.During a media conference at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Valcke admitted that FIFA were concerned by progress in Porto Alegre, one of the 12 host cities of the Football World Cup.He said Brazilian football club Internacional and the local government settled a longstanding dispute about how to pay for temporary facilities, though no work has begun for the television compound, security, media and hospitality areas."There is a lot of work in Porto Alegre," Valcke said."That's why we put a large team from FIFA and the Local Organising Committee to support their team in order to move on the tender process, to move on the appointment of the company and to make sure that, again, the work can start by the 1st of April," he said.Valcke added that FIFA hopes to avoid the confusion about who pays for what in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which is also using 12 stadia.Valcke is responsible for ensuring Brazil is ready for the tournament that starts 12 June.The opening match of the World Cup will be played at the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo.The stadium isn't expected to be ready before mid-April.The Itaquerao was one of the six stadiums expected to be finished by the end of 2013, but a crane collapse that killed two workers in November caused significant delays."You cannot move the opening game of the World Cup here to another stadium. It has to happen in Sao Paulo, there's no other choice! You have thousands of people who have bought their tickets, we have thousands we have the FIFA Congress, two thousand people coming from around the world to attend the FIFA Congress, all of our member associations, would be at the opening game," Valcke said."There's no other choice. And, again, we have to work all together to make sure that it will happen," Valcke added.Two other stadiums are unfinished ahead of the World Cup, one in the southern city of Curitiba and the other in the wetlands city of Cuiaba.Valcke assured on Thursday that the stadiums in Curitiba, Cuiaba and Sao Paulo would be ready when the World Cup opens.