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World Cup stadiums to be ready, but work remains

All 12 stadiums will be ready, said FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke, but other concerns remain.
Jerome valcke 11 27 2012Enlarge
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke during an interview with Globo journalist after the opening ceremony of the Soccerex football convention, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Nov. 14, 2012. ( Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke announced Monday at a Soccerex football event in Rio that the 12 stadiums under construction for Brazil's upcoming 2014 World Cup will be built on time.

"No stadium is behind schedule," Valcke said, according to Inside Football World. "All the projects are proceeding well and we have reached cruise speed."

However, Valcke voiced concern over other infrastructure issues, mainly housing for an expected 500,000 tourists.

"In one unnamed city there are 17,000 hotel bedrooms and a 45,000 capacity stadium [for the World Cup]," he said.

He added, "But we have now moved from talking about the problems to talking about the solutions. We are able to find and answer the problems."

The BBC reports Brazil will spend about $15 billion on World Cup infrastructure. The country is not just building 12 stadiums, but roads, airport extension and other projects. 

There were other contentious issues to talk about at the event.

Valcke mentioned rampant crime in São Paulo.

"We are seeing a big wave of crime in São Paulo, which is not good for its image or tourism," he said.

Valcke said the 2013 Confederations Cup - a small international soccer tournament compared to the World Cup - would serve as an important test run.

In his column for FIFA.com, Valcke wrote, “This is a crucial moment for us organizers because once the ticket sales start it would be very problematic if a venue runs into challenges to be ready to host matches."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/world-cup-stadiums-ready-work-remains