FIFA resumes World Cup stadium inspections

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Rio de Janeiro, March 21 (IANS) FIFA has begun a final operational inspection of Brazil’s 12 World Cup stadiums before football’s showpiece tournament kicks off in June.

The technical visits began Thursday, just days before FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke returns to the country for meetings with local officials, reports Xinhua.

“This is the last chance for the organisers to take stock of the operational preparations before the respective FIFA World Cup installations begin to be implemented in all 12 host cities,” FIFA said in a statement.

According to the local organising committee’s stadium operations manager Tiago Paes, venue operators are keen to show FIFA they are on track for the June 12-July 13 event.

“This inspection tour will be fundamental to consolidate operational plans and for each area to confirm the operations they have planned over the last few years,” Paes said.

Three World Cup stadiums remain unfinished despite an original December 2013 construction deadline imposed by FIFA.

Sao Paulo’s Itaquerao stadium, which will host the tournament opener between Brazil and Croatia, and Curitiba’s Arena da Baixada are not expected to be ready until mid-May.

Arena Pantanal in the western city of Cuaiba is expected to officially opened next month.

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