FIFA president Sepp Blatter is confident that despite concerns over the level of preparedness of at least three of the 2014 World Cup venues, the tournament will go on to becoming a “great success”.
With 100 days left to the kick-off of the biggest world football showpiece, four stadiums remain under construction, while work outside many of the venues in the 12 host cities is still ongoing and further doubts linger over the completion of airport facilities and fan parks.
Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians, due to host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia, has been plagued by problems, including the death of two workers after a crane collapsed on the site.
The stadium in Curitiba, where Nigeria plays its opening match against Iran, will also not be ready until May 15.
“100 days, it’s a long way to go, and it’s a short way to go if there are still problems,” Blatter said. “But now all problems are under control and it will be, in 100 days, an exceptionally good start for an exceptional competition.
“The Brazilian spirit of the game and the Brazilian ability to play football makes this World Cup very, very special. I am sure it will be a great, great success.”
Security concerns have likewise marred preparations ahead of the 20th Fifa World Cup, with protesters claiming the money spent on the showpiece event would be better used in improving hospitals, schools and infrastructure.