Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another FIFA project leading to World Cup schedule worries

Work on a number of projects for the 2013 FIFA World Cup are reportedly behind schedule, with transport infrastructure and stadiums lagging behind construction deadlines.

There is a major concern in the footballing world that Brazil won’t be ready to host the tournament with just 18 months to go before the first match is scheduled to be played. Only last month FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke revealed host city Manaus was lagging behind schedule and was less than 50% complete despite needing to be ready by December 2013.

Although Manaus may be ready for the World Cup, Brazil must have the stadium up to FIFA-recognised standards six months before the world descends upon Brazil, in order to carry out extensive safety and events testing. If they fall too far behind, Valkce suggested cities may even be struck off the schedule.

“You cannot have the stadium six weeks in advance, that is technically impossible,” he said.

“There is no plan B, you can always decide to take one stadium off. We did it in Germany for the Confederations Cup and South Africa for the Confederations Cup. It works.”

Indeed, Valcke’s words should come as a real warning to Brazil to get their act together over preparations for the World Cup. The same warning was given to South Africa before the 2010 tournament, with the Rainbow Nation spending way above budget to ensure operations eventually met deadlines.

The same is destined to happen in Brazil, where the country’s Audits Court have already condemned a $650m light railway project as being so far behind schedule it won’t be completed by summer 2014.

FIFA, it seems, have once again got themselves in a mess. Thankfully Brazil’s jewel in the crown, the Maracana Stadium, is only slightly behind schedule. Yet this is a real warning to future World Cup hosts like Russia and Qatar that work must be started as soon as possible if they are to avoid delay problems and spiralling costs.

Don’t forget to check out the Betfair Capital One cup odds specials ahead of Leeds v Chelsea next week, as well as the latest news, tips, expert opinion and the latest  FA Cup odds

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