Manaus stadium may not be ready for World Cup, warns FIFA

SAO PAULO Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:25pm IST

An aerial view shows the construction site of the Arena da Amazonia, or Vivaldo Lima Stadium, as it is rebuilt to host the 2014 World Cup, in Manaus October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly/Files

An aerial view shows the construction site of the Arena da Amazonia, or Vivaldo Lima Stadium, as it is rebuilt to host the 2014 World Cup, in Manaus October 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bruno Kelly/Files

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - FIFA fired off a warning to the Brazilian city of Manaus on Friday, telling the Amazonian capital it must speed up construction work on its stadium or risk being cut from the 2014 World Cup.

"The only one city where they have really to speed up and to work on different contractors and the different agreements they have to sign to be ready on time, which is December 2013, is Manaus," Jerome Valcke, secretary general of football's governing body, told reporters.

Valcke said he was concerned that construction of the 44,000-seat Amazonia Arena was not happening quickly enough. The stadium is less than 50 percent ready, according to official figures.

FIFA's guidelines say the stadiums in the 12 host cities must be ready at least six months in advance because the World Cup fixture draw takes place in December 2013 and competing nations need to plan issues such as their team bases.

"For the World Cup we need the stadium in advance, we need three test events," Valcke said on the eve of the draw for next June's Confederations Cup, a tournament designed as a dress rehearsal.

"You cannot have the stadium six weeks in advance, that is technically impossible.

"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. To be clear, you need a certain time to deliver a certain work."

Although Valcke did not mention Manaus's accompanying infrastructure projects, they are also causing concern in the Brazilian media.

A recent report from Brazil's Audits Court said a $650 million light railway project would not be ready in time. A proposed new system of rapid bus lanes is also behind scheduled and unlikely to be ready for the June 2014 World Cup, the court said.

(Editing by Mark Meadows)

Australian Open

Novak Djokovic (L) of Serbia watches as Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland walks off the court after their men's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Djokovic beats Wawrinka, to face Murray

Novak Djokovic once again stood tall at the Australian Open as he reached his fourth final in the past five years with another five-set victory over Stan Wawrinka, the man who dumped him out of Melbourne Park last year.  Full Article 

Reuters Showcase

GDP Growth

GDP Growth

India's economic growth revised up by almost 50 pct.  Full Article 

Stake Sale

Stake Sale

Strong demand for Coal India boosts privatisation drive.  Full Article 

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Child Trafficking

Child Trafficking

Police find hundreds of child slaves making bangles - media   Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

England Beat India

England Beat India

England reach final after Taylor-made victory.  Full Article 

Change Of Heart

Change Of Heart

Justin Bieber says dropping 'arrogant' and 'conceited' attitude  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage