Will no longer tolerate venue delays, FIFA warns Brazil
Brasilia, Jan 29 : FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke has warned that delays in getting ready Brazil's Confederations Cup stadiums will no longer be tolerated.
Valcke made the comments Monday after inspecting the Mane Garrincha Stadium in capital Brasilia, which will host the tournament's first match between Brazil and Japan June 15.
"I would have preferred that the deadlines were met and that the stadiums were ready in December 2012, as planned," Valcke was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
"By consensus we agreed to postpone that date to April so we still have time. But it will not longer be possible to be late."
Of the six Confederations Cup venues, only two - Fortaleza's Castelao and Belo Horizonte's Mineirao stadiums - are ready.
Other cities scheduled to host matches during the June 15-30 tournament are Rio de Janeiro and Recife.
Valcke said that it will not be enough for construction consortia to present their stadiums on the agreed deadline.
The venues also need to have a surface fit for international matches, a roof that complies with FIFA standards in addition to electric power and telecommunications connections.
"As of today we have 500 days ahead of us until the World Cup begins," Valcke said. "We must work together as hard as we can to achieve our goals. We are well on our way."
The Confederations Cup, considered an organisational warm-up for the World Cup, will comprise FIFA's six continental champions and host nation Brazil. European runner-up Italy has also been included by virtue of European champion Spain already having qualified as the defending World Champion.