Lifestyle & Belief

2014 World Cup: Jerome Valcke says Brazil is making progress


View of the construction site of a new stadium for the FIFA World Cup 2014, Arena Pantanal, in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso State, Brazil.



SÃO PAULO, Brazil — FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said Brazil is starting to make progress in its preparations for the 2014 World Cup.

On a three-day visit, Valcke went to the host cities of Recife, Natal and Brasília and met with local organizers to get updates on progress for the World Cup and next year's Confederations Cup, according to FIFA. He said Natal, which will host four matches and has been one of the slowest cities in its preparations so far, was an example of Brazil's progress.

"The good thing about the project is that it's moving on," Valcke said, in reference to the work being done in Natal. "We had the red light before, but now we've got the right color again and the projects are on schedule. So there are no concerns on our part, though we will continue to monitor the situation."

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Valcke said it was still too early to say whether or not Recife would be ready to host the Confederations Cup next year, but he was confident the city would be prepared, reported the Associated Press. He got guarantees from the local government that the work would be finished by the time the World Cup warm up tournament is set to begin. Recife and Salvador have until November to show FIFA they are ready for their hosting duties.

FIFA also reached an agreement with official broadcaster TV Globo that will allow World Cup matches to be shown on big screens across the country in non-commercial environments for 5,000 people or less without the need for a licensing agreement, according to the AP.

Brazil will be hosting the World Cup for the first time since 1950.