FIFA to make visit to Recife ahead of venue choice

Associated Press Modified: October 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm •  Published: October 15, 2012

SAO PAULO (AP) — FIFA's inspection team will visit Recife on Tuesday before deciding whether the northeastern Brazilian city will be included in next year's Confederations Cup.

The move comes less than a month before FIFA announces the final match schedule for the warm-up tournament next June.

Recife is among the six venues initially selected to host matches, but its participation will only be ratified by showing significant improvement in its preparations.

Also Tuesday, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke will begin a tour of World Cup host cities Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre. He will attend a board meeting of the local organizing committee in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

Local organizers in Recife said Monday that they are convinced FIFA's team of technical inspectors will like what they see during the inspection.

"We remain confident that we will be part of the tournament," said Ricardo Leitao, the government official in charge of the World Cup organization in Recife. "(We) are prepared for FIFA's inspection visit. All the updated numbers on the progress of work for the Confederations Cup will be presented."

Five inspectors will spend the day in Recife monitoring the progress of construction at the Arena Pernambuco and checking the infrastructure work across the city.

The biggest concern has been with the pace of construction at the Arena Pernambuco, which was 64 percent complete in September. The construction company said Monday that construction is progressing by six percent each month since July, but local organizers want the work to be at about 80 percent finalized by the end of this month.

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