Article

Curitiba given green light by FIFA

18 February 2014 19:33

FIFA have confirmed that the Arena da Baixada stadium in Curitiba is still set to host 2014 World Cup fixtures as originally scheduled.

The stadium missed FIFA's initial December 31 deadline for completion and was considered to be so far behind schedule that a four-week ultimatum to accelerate construction was issued by general secretary Jerome Valcke last month.

A joint statement from the state of Parana, the city of Curitiba and local club Atletico Paranaense released last week insisted that everything had been done to ensure that the arena would be completed in time for the World Cup.

And FIFA revealed that they are satisfied with the progress made in the past few weeks, but were quick to stress that the stadium still faces a race against time to be ready for the start of the tournament.

"Curitiba confirmed as World Cup venue, based on the financial guarantees, the commitment by all stakeholders & progress made," a post on the governing body's Twitter account read.

"It's a race against a very tight timeline. Collective effort by all stakeholders involved in Curitiba must continue at highest pace."

Iran's clash with Nigeria is scheduled to be the first game to be held at the arena on June 16, with defending champions Spain travelling to Curitiba to take on Australia seven days later.

The two other games to be held at the stadium include Honduras versus Ecuador on June 20, and Algeria versus Russia on June 26.

Brazil's preparations for the World Cup have been beset by construction problems, while protests over the cost of staging the tournament and fatal accidents at the venues in Manaus, Sao Paulo and Brasilia have also marred the build-up.

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