Jerome Valcke, the secretary general of Fifa, has expressed hope that this year’s World Cup in Brazil will be the last to be afflicted by stadium delays as he completed his latest visit to the country ahead of the tournament in June and July.
Three of the 12 stadia have still to be handed over to the tournament organisers, including the new Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, which will host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.
The venues for the World Cup were supposed to be delivered by the end of last year, but many projects overran and the stadia in Sao Paulo, Cuiaba and Curitiba are unlikely to be ready before May.
Valcke admitted yesterday that Fifa had learned valuable lessons for future World Cups, starting with the 2018 tournament in Russia and moving on to the 2018 event in Qatar.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with members of the Brazilian government and the local organising committee, Valcke said: "We are late, we face difficulties and risks right up to the last minute because we haven’t tested the installations, we need time to test them.
"It’s a lesson and definitely we will act differently and we will have to find a different way of working in Russia in 2018."
The main outstanding work to be completed at the Brazilian stadia is the installation of telecoms networks and temporary structures required for media, sponsors and technical teams at the tournament.Sportcal