RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — With its rivers and award-winning beaches and coral reefs, Recife is a place where many Brazilians go to lay back and relax.
Except, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from downtown you'll find a state of high anxiety and constant noise.
More than 4,000 workers are going almost around the clock to build the football stadium they hope will attract world attention on the northeastern city nicknamed the Venice of Brazil.
Constructors say Arena Pernambuco is 52 percent finished. It should have been 60 percent last week.
What officials need to reach is 80 percent in October, when FIFA arrives in town for a final inspection visit and proof that the 46,000-seat stadium is on track to be completed in February, as scheduled.
At stake is being involved in next year's Confederations Cup, the warm-up event for the 2014 World Cup. Recife will definitely host matches in the World Cup, but it doesn't want to be dropped from the Confederations Cup and is wary of any hiccup which could derail the city's chances.
"If anything goes wrong now, we will have trouble making the deadline," Ricardo Leitao, the government official in charge of the World Cup organization in Recife, told The Associated Press. "We can't lose a single day. We have to keep our foot all the way down on the throttle."
Recife is trying to avoid repeating the disappointment of other venues which didn't get to participate in previous Confederations Cups. It happened to Kaiserslautern in Germany in 2005 and Port Elizabeth in South Africa in 2009.
Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was originally selected as a Confederations Cup host but was dropped because organizers didn't think the venue was going to be ready. Kaiserslautern withdrew its bid saying it wanted to avoid the extra costs needed to get the city prepared.
When FIFA announced Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Salvador and Recife would host the Confederations Cup, football's governing body made it clear that Salvador and Recife would be included only if they showed enough progress by November, which is when FIFA will start preparing the tournament's ticket sales.
FIFA said it prepared match schedules with four and five cities, in case Salvador and Recife are not ready on time.
Salvador has 70 percent of the work completed at Fonte Nova Arena and seems in position to secure its place, but Recife has been a cause for concern for some time.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said last week that though there are no stadiums behind schedule, the situation in Recife needs to be closely monitored.
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