Valcke guarantees completion of Sao Paulo stadium

Rio de Janeiro, May 16 (IANS) FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has guaranteed Sao Paulo’s World Cup football stadium will be ready on time, one day after claiming the venue could be taken off the tournament schedule due to construction delays.

Valcke met with Itaquerao stadium officials Wednesday and said he was confident the December 2013 deadline would be met, reports Xinhua.

“We are very satisfied with the meeting and with the fact that we could talk face-to-face,” Valcke said. “Sao Paulo will be an example for other cities to deliver the stadium in time, by Dec 31.”

“The discussion with Corinthians was very fruitful since we understand we both want the same goal, to have the stadium ready. It is also a special project because of the legacy it leaves for the east zone of Sao Paulo.”

Local officials last week said the Itaquerao stadium would not be ready until at least March next year due to complications involving the installation of temporary stands.

But Itaquerao spokesman Andres Sanchez denied work on the venue was behind schedule.

“This was an excellent meeting. There was some misunderstanding but (we) are aware of our responsibilities,” Sanchez said.

“I have always been sure that we would host the opening game of the 2014 World Cup and now I am even more. The schedule agreed with FIFA will be respected,” he added.

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