Sport Football Socceroos’ World Cup venue retained

Socceroos’ World Cup venue retained

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The venue for Australia’s World Cup pool game against Spain has been given the all clear by FIFA despite construction work delays.

FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke confirmed on Tuesday Curitiba will host four games in the tournament including the Socceroos’ clash with Spain on June 23.

It was judged work on the stadium had made enough progress to warrant being retained.

The stadium previously missed a series of deadlines – FIFA dropped an initial deadline of December 31 for all 12 venues after six failed to meet the date.

“Yes, Curitiba will remain as one of the 12 host cities,” said Valcke, who confirmed news to that effect posted on his website just minutes before he spoke.

“That shows I’m not really responsible for the Twitter account,” he said.

A double fatality at Sao Paulo, which will stage the opening game, put that venue’s pre-event tests back until mid-April.

In addition, there have been three construction deaths at Manaus in the Amazon region and one at Brasilia.

But it has been the Curitiba delays which have posed FIFA a severe headache to the extent Valcke threatened to scrap it from the list altogether.

Valcke confirmed the stadium had done enough to stay on board, heading off a potential legal minefield of challenges from the city, which had faced claims from hotels losing weeks of fan business.