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FIFA checks Brazil stadiums

Saturday, March 22, 2014

SAO PAULO - FIFA is starting a new round of inspections at World Cup stadiums in Brazil as host cities race against the clock to get ready for the tournament that opens in less than three months.

Operational inspections in six stadiums began on Thursday and FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is expected in the country to tour some of the delayed venues next week.

Three stadiums are not yet finished and infrastructure work in many of the 12 host cities remains far from completed.

FIFA already knows that at least two stadiums won't be ready until about a month before the tournament starts even though local organisers promised it would be different.

This includes the venue for the opening match between Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12.

Meanwhile, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has hinted he is considering recalling veteran forward Antonio Cassano to the national team for the 2014 World Cup.

Cassano has not played for Italy since the Azzurri's 4-0 defeat to Spain in the final of the 2012 European Championship.

Prandelli says "after the Euros, we looked ahead. Antonio was 30 and it was thought that other players could develop. If these players have not grown as we expected, and if one plays better at 32 than at 30, why not?"

Cassano has scored 11 league goals for Parma this season, helping them to sixth spot in their best season in recent years.

The former Inter and AC Milan striker has scored 10 times in 35 appearances for Italy.

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