Joined by 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ LOC Management Board member Ronaldo and Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke began the final phase of this year’s tour of Brazil 2014 Host Cities on Monday.

Featuring very high on the day’s agenda was an inspection of the ongoing construction work at the Maracana. Greatly impressed by the atmosphere at the famous stadium, Valcke spoke to workers at the site and visited one of the executive boxes before talking to the press.

Here is what he and the rest of the delegation had to say:

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke
I said to the minister (Aldo Rebelo) that we’ll be here at the stadium in 20 months’ time for the Final of Brazil 2014. Rio has no option but to be ready. I had a meeting yesterday with the mayor Eduardo Paes and today I had coffee with the governor Sergio Cabral. We spoke about the construction work and we had confirmation from both authorities and from Ricardo Trade of the LOC that everything would be ready. It’s a spectacular place, a fantastic stadium.

There’s no problem with the relationship between FIFA and the LOC. We have a team working in Rio de Janeiro, and we don’t have a problem with the Brazilian government or with any of the 12 Host Cities. They are our representatives. The stadium is fabulous. I can’t imagine a FIFA Confederations Cup or a FIFA World Cup without a game at the Maracana. There would be something very wrong with that.

As for the other cities, two stadiums will be delivered in the middle of April, well behind schedule, though our technical team said everything was fine and we have to trust them.  The government has given its word the work will be finished and we have to believe people.

I receive photographs on a regular basis and the last report I got was 48 hours ago. I get information all the time and I’m not surprised. It’s good to be able to put an image to the report and to be at the Maracana at this special time.

Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo
Rio has a number of urban mobility, airport and port projects. Icaro (Moreno, the President of the State Public Works Authority) gave us a presentation and I am confident that the Maracana will be handed over for the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup.

The Maracana has undergone a spectacular change this year. It was about 20 percent complete at the start of the year and we’re reaching the end of the year with it 80 percent complete. At this present rate there is no question the stadium will be delivered. There are nearly 5,500 engineers and construction personnel working here now. It should be remembered that this stadium was built in record time in 22 months back in 1950. The construction work has been entrusted to a consortium of two companies with extensive national and international experience in civil engineering projects. Time is of the essence but we’re in a position to deliver the stadium.

Rio de Janeiro Head of Civil Affairs Regis Fichtner
We gave a presentation on the progress of the work, and the important thing is that we’re in contact with the LOC every day. Our level of integration with the government is total and we are all convinced that everything will be ready soon.

Fizemos uma apresentação sobre o andamento das obras. O importante é que estamos em contato diário com o COL, nossa integração com o governo é total e temos toda certeza de que tudo estará pronto.