FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) — World Cup organizers must keep working at full speed to guarantee Brazil will be ready to host football's showcase event in June, FIFA said Friday.
After spending "an important week" in the country inspecting host cities and taking time trying to solve preparation problems, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said it's clear there's still "a lot of work to do" in the 12 host cities that will host the tournament in less than four months.
"We are far beyond the normal speed limit you can have on the road and this will be the case until June," Valcke said. "We are working at full speed."
The comments came after the board meeting of the local World Cup organizing committee, which followed a FIFA-run workshop with representatives of the 32 teams participating in the World Cup. More than 20 coaches attended the event in the southern city of Florianopolis to discuss organizational issues related to the tournament.
The biggest decision by FIFA was related to the southern city of Curitiba, which was in danger of being dropped from the tournament because of significant delays in stadium construction. Valcke announced Tuesday the city will be allowed to host matches even though the stadium won't be ready until mid-April.
One of Valcke's stops was Porto Alegre, also in southern Brazil, where the president of the club in charge of the Beira-Rio stadium said there was a risk the venue would be unavailable for the World Cup because of a dispute over who will pay for the temporary facilities required by FIFA outside the venues.