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FIFA to visit unfinished stadiums

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SAO PAULO - FIFA's top World Cup official is visiting Brazil this week to inspect the three stadiums yet to be completed for the World Cup, including the one hosting the tournament's opening game in June.

Secretary General Jerome Valcke will inspect construction work at the Itaquerao in Sao Paulo today to begin his latest tour of host cities.

He will later visit the two other stadiums still under construction ahead of football's showcase event — one in the southern city of Curitiba and another in the western city of Cuiaba.

The Socceroos will meet world champions Spain in their Group B match at Curitiba on June 23, and Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop is among those who have expressed concern at the stadium's progress.

Valcke's agenda also includes a visit to the northeastern city of Fortaleza to check the site of its fan fest, the event which allows people without tickets to watch matches for free in public areas.

Valcke will also meet with representatives of the host cities to get updates on their preparations. His final stop will be in Rio de Janeiro on Friday to participate in the board meeting of the local World Cup organising committee.

The secretary general is expected to be back in Brazil in late May to visit at least some of the host cities. He will stay until the end of the tournament.

Brazil has been struggling to get the country ready for the World Cup. Infrastructure work is far from completed and local organisers were not able to finish the six stadiums that had to be ready by the end of last year as wanted by FIFA.

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