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CSF: Venezuela Not Ready for Copa America 2007
Reuters, May 25th, 2007 3PM

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With barely a month to go before the tournament's opening, the South American soccer confederation (CSF) warned that Copa America host Venezuela might not have its stadiums ready in time. To Venezuela's credit, the plan to build five new stadiums and host the 12-team tournament at nine different venues was always ambitious, CSF VP Eugenio Figueredo said. "The challenge which Venezuela has taken on, in wanting to take the Copa America to nine venues, is more than heroic," he said.

But what, exactly, does it mean that the stadiums might not be completed in time? Figueredo didn't sound too sure. "We will return on June 1 to see if the timetable has been kept to and then we will make the final decision on where the games will be played," he said.

Does that mean a new country, or smaller venues? "It could be June 10 or 12 before everything is finished," Figueredo said. "The deadline has been pushed back for a variety of problems." Jorge Rodriguez, the president of the Copa America's local organizing committee, asserted that all would be ready in time. "We swear that there will be nine venues, the work is advancing and overcoming all the obstacles. I want to ratify the Copa America in each one of the cities." Either way, the revised deadline for stadium completion is certainly cutting it close: the Copa's start date is June 26.

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