World Cup 2014: Brazil still facing problems with 100 days to go
Published by The Guardian (The text below has been slightly modified to better suit the exam)
The Arena de São Paulo will not be delivered until mid-May leaving FIFA with a race against time for the required fitting. In 100 days, Brazil will kick off the World Cup against Croatia in the gleaming new Arena de São Paulo. Assuming, that is, the stadium is finished in time.
Amid growing excitement at the World Cup returning to the home of the beautiful game, there is concern at the extent to which deadlines have been repeatedly missed before being torn up altogether. "I am not a World Cup specialist but I will say this has not been easy, for sure," said the FIFA secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, one man who you might hope would be exactly that, in Zurich this weekend.
"I think things will work well but it is also true that whenever you receive something late it becomes a challenge to make it ready in time."
Every major sporting event has to face down doomsday predictions that typically reach a crescendo around 100 days out before being drowned out by sporting drama and emotion. But Brazil faces a unique cocktail of serious issues that have left FIFA's president, Sepp Blatter, claiming he was praying to "God or Allah" that nothing else goes wrong.
The biggest outstanding concern remains the readiness of four of the twelve stadiums that are scattered throughout the vast country. Despite being awarded the World Cup in 2007, host cities were not decided until two years later amid political wrangling.
A series of delays followed, as Valcke and other FIFA executives attempted to hurry things along. Even so, the stadiums in São Paulo – where work was delayed by the deaths of two construction workers – and Curitiba will not be delivered until mid-May.
Even some of those that are finished appear to be falling apart – chunks of the roof fell into the stands in a storm-lashed Belo Horizonte at the weekend, hours before a match. That will leave FIFA and organisers facing a race against time to fit them out with the necessary IT, media, catering and ticketing facilities required. And that is before the debate over what will happen to them afterwards begins in earnest.
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