Curitiba faces fate, problems in Cuiaba and Recife

[WORLD CUP 2014 COUNTDOWN] Problems are popping up right and left for World Cup organizers. FIFA has set Tuesday as the day it will announce whether it will pull the plug on Curitiba and move its four group games to other cities. Meanwhile, a report suggested that the fire at the still-unfinished Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba caused far more damage than initially reported, and Recife announced it won't fund the Fan Fest, an integral part of the World Cup since its success at the 2006 finals in Germany.

Curitiba's Arena de Baixada is so far behind schedule that it has missed every deadline, according to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke. In January, Valcke said the stadium didn't need to be finished by Tuesday but those in charge of its construction had to show signs of progress.

In a joint statement released last week, the state of Parana, the city of Curitiba and local club Atletico Paranaense said everything that was needed had been done and the stadium would be finished in mid-April, two months before the start of the tournament but three after FIFA's original deadline for work at all stadiums to be completed.

Reuters reported on Sunday that state prosecutors in Mato Grosso state found the Oct. 25 fire had caused damage that would "compromise the overall stability of the construction," which is now scheduled to be finished in March.

On Monday, the World Cup organizing committee for the state of state of Mato Grosso stated that all necessary repairs were made after the engineer mentioned in the Reuters article visited the site in November 2013 and concentrated load and resistance tests on the stadium had been done by structural engineers.

In Recife, its secretary of sports, George Braga, said the city does not have the 11 million reais ($4.6 million) needed to fund the Fan Fest and will only authorize the event if private funding is found.

“Recife is all in favor of holding the World Cup and is on hand to help in any way it can,” Braga said. “But we’ve been thinking about the Fan Fest and came to the conclusion that we alone cannot bear the costs of it.”
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