2014 World Cup: Eagles Opening Game Venue Could Be Shifted, FIFA Awaits Final Report

The Super Eagles opening Group F match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil could be relocated to an alternative venue with the Arena da Baixada stadium still a matter of serious concern for Fifa and stands at risk of being excluded from hosting Cup games.

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) has outlined plans to distribute matches among the other 11 host stadia of the tournament for the four games that would be in Curitiba, according to Folha.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will begin their World Cup campaign against Iran at the venue on 16 July. Other group stage matches billed for the stadium are Australia/ Spain, Honduras/ Ecuador and Algeria/ Russia.

Jerome Valcke Leads Fifa Entourage to the Arena de Baixada.
Jerome Valcke Leads Fifa Entourage to the Arena de Baixada.

During Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke’s tour of the host cities on January 21, the acceleration of work at the venue was the main topic of conversation, when the creation of a technical committee between the involved parties became imperative in a bid to forestall any unforeseen hitch-up.

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Fifa is trying to avoid as much as possible any dismantling of the logistical plans put in place by national teams, who have already set here accommodations and have mapped out there movement within the country.

These matches are therefore going to be moved to nearby venues- stadiums preferably in the southeast and south. This entails that the new venue should not be far from the Super Eagles’ Campinas base.

However, alternative plans are treated with confidentiality by the federation.

Meawhile the Parana state government (one of the parties involved in the Fifa committee) has requested a loan of R$65 million (US $26.8 million) from the BNDES (National Bank for Economic and Social Development) for the remaining work on the Arena de Baixada, after stadium owners, Atletico-PR, reported that it only has enough cash for project up to the end of February.

When contacted, Fifa stated that it did not enter into speculation and still awaits final report on the stadium.

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