Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil World Cup: Six stadiums to miss Fifa deadline

Construction works at the Arena Corinthians. Photo: August 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption The World Cup will kick off on 12 June with a match in Sao Paulo's stadium

Brazil has admitted all its stadiums still under construction for the 2014 football World Cup will not be ready by Fifa's original 31 December deadline.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said the six venues - in Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Cuiaba, Manaus and Natal - would be finished in January.

Construction problems - coupled with public protests about the money being spent - have delayed the preparations.

Fifa, football's ruling body, agreed this week to extend its deadline.

The World Cup - the world's biggest football event - kicks off on 12 June in Sao Paulo's Arena Corinthians, where two people died last week after a construction crane collapsed.

'Like marriage'

Earlier this week, Fifa admitted that three stadiums would not be be ready in time. But now Brazil's sports minister has admitted that all six will not be finished by the end of December.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Rebelo said: "There are delays but they will not be significant. What matters is that we are ready to go in January."

He said some of the stadiums would be handed over after 31 December because of problems accommodating a busy Christmas schedule of engagements of President Dilma Rousseff, who wanted to be present at the opening ceremonies.

And Mr Rebelo compared the World Cup preparations to organising a wedding.

"In every wedding that I attended the bride was late. I've never seen a bride arrive on time - but never saw a marriage that didn't go ahead."

But he stressed that all Brazil's stadiums would be ready for test events early next year.

Brazil's other six stadiums were opened ahead of last June's Confederations Cup.

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