Nine months after their first visit to Curitiba, the delegation comprised of members of FIFA, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Ministry of Sport headed back to the Arena da Baixada on Monday, where they were given guarantees by stadium officials that a December 2013 deadline would be met.
They were also informed of the date of the first test event: 26 January 2014. The home of Atletico Paranaense will host four FIFA World Cup™ group stage fixtures over the summer.
"We made a request to the city, the state and the club in relation to the progress of construction of the retractable roof, so that the contractual timeframe could be met," said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.
"The three parties agreed and we can now confirm that the stadium will be delivered not only in time for the World Cup, but in December, allowing time for test events vital to the success of the tournament. That’s why we have left feeling really confident in Curitiba and its readiness for the big event,” he continued, making it clear that FIFA had not made any specific requests regarding the roof.
“The meeting was informative for the federal government with regard to the chances of Curitiba meeting its delivery timetable for the stadium renovation, as well as for urban mobility projects. The city won’t have just the World Cup, but also a legacy linked to this event. It’s the fourth or fifth visit that I’ve made here and I can see the progress that has been made,” added Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo.
During the visit to the stadium, two workers received symbolic match tickets from FIFA on behalf of those working on the site. Football's governing body will present tickets for a FIFA World Cup fixture to those working on the 12 stadiums.
“I’m proud to be building this stadium and happy about the tickets. As it’s not going to be possible to see Brazil, I’m hoping to see France, Mexico or Spain play here,” said Haitian worker Anice Ulysse, who was delighted to be able to see football legend and LOC board member Ronaldo – for the second time. His first sight of the former striker was at Brazil's friendly away to Haiti in 2004.
On Tuesday, the delegation moves on to Manaus, where this stage of the stadiums tour comes to a close, after visits to Sao Paulo and Curitiba. On Thursday, representatives from FIFA, the LOC and the Ministry of Sport will meet again at the LOC board meeting in Rio de Janeiro, which takes place every six weeks.