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Host city guarantees World Cup venue will be ready

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2014 at 10:51 am •  Published: February 13, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — Local organizers in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba insisted Thursday they've complied with requests by FIFA to guarantee its delayed stadium will be finished in time for the World Cup in June.

The announcement comes five days before FIFA will decide whether the city will remain in the World Cup or the four matches scheduled for the venue will move to one of the other 11 host cities.

FIFA gave an ultimatum to local organizers last month, saying they had until Tuesday to show work at the Arena da Baixada could be finished in time.

The state of Parana, the city of Curitiba and local club Atletico Paranaense, in charge of building the stadium, released a joint statement saying they have done everything necessary.

The Arena da Baixada is scheduled to host defending champion Spain against Australia on June 23. The other matches at the venue will be Iran-Nigeria on June 16, Algeria-Russia on June 26 and Honduras-Ecuador on June 30.

Even if FIFA allows Curitiba to remain as a host city, the stadium is not expected to be fully finished until sometime in April, two months before the World Cup starts. One of FIFA's concerns is whether it will have time to install all temporary facilities needed at the site.

Lack of funds has been the greatest problem affecting the stadium construction in Curitiba, but the state government said in the joint statement that it requested a loan of about $100 million from a Brazilian government-owned bank on Wednesday.

World Cup organizers last week also told local officials to increase the number of workers at the stadium to make sure the work could be completed in time. Atletico Paranaense said that would be done as soon as the loan was approved.

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