SAO PAULO, April 23 – The Arena Corinthians Sao Paulo will be ready for the opening match of the World Cup Brazil-2014, the Secretary General of the International Football Federation (FIFA), Jerome Valcke said. Sao Paulo will be ready for the Cup, though not in the schedule originally planned, said Valcke, after visiting the works of the Sao Paulo stadium and meeting with officials and representatives of the club Corinthians, owner of the arena and companies responsible for the construction. This stadium will open the World Cup competition with the match Brazil vs. Croatia on June 12. According to Valcke, on May 17 and 18 there will be a test match in the Arena Corinthians, which will assess the stadium. “The event will give us the opportunity to see what works and what does not, and then we will have a period of three weeks to correct any problems,” Valcke added. Valcke reiterated his warning to those responsible for building the stadium that it is not possible to miss a single minute.
“We have much work ahead. It’s a race against time, but I can assure that the opening match will take place here in the Corinthians stadium, as well as other parties,” said Valcke. According to the responsible company, the installation of temporary stands, which will add 20,000 places to the stadium and ensure the minimum capacity of 68,000 seats required by FIFA – will be done end on May 10, just over a month before the start of the World Cup. The Sao Paulo stadium will host six matches of the World Cup, including four by the group stage: Brazil-Croatia, on 12 June, Uruguay-England, 19, Holland-Chile, 23, and South Korea-Belgium, 26 June. Valcke is visiting Brazil on an inspection and will visit Curitiba, to check the progress of the Arena da Baixada. The visit will continue in the capital of the Midwestern state of Mato Grosso, Cuiaba, where Valcke will visit a public school where the FIFA Football for Health program is being developed.