COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — At least three World Cup stadiums in Brazil will not be finished by the end of December as FIFA had requested.
Football's governing body said on Tuesday the stadiums in Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Cuiaba will not be ready by the deadline because of construction delays.
The announcement came after the World Cup organizing committee received updates from the six host cities that have yet to deliver the venues for next year's tournament. The other six were ready for this year's Confederations Cup.
"Two stadiums will be delivered more in the region of February than in January or December," FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said. "Curitiba is the one where we are facing the most problems. Clearly, Curitiba will not be delivered before the end of February 2014, so that's a fact."
The stadium of Cuiaba is also not expected to be ready until February, four months before the World Cup opens on June 12. FIFA said it still doesn't know when it will have the venue in Sao Paulo, where a crane collapse last week killed two workers and damaged part of the stadium. A report on the scale of the damage is expected by the end of the week.
"We are in a period of time when the opening game of the World Cup will be played in Sao Paulo," Valcke said. "We are not in a crisis mood where we are looking for an alternative to Sao Paulo. We are confident they can deliver the stadium on time (for the opener.)"
The Sao Paulo venue, which will host the tournament's opening match, was almost ready when a giant crane buckled while hoisting a 500-ton metal structure that clipped part of the roof and cut through a huge LED panel that runs across the venue's outer facade.