|Sao Paulo Hopes of Hosting 2014 FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremony Boosted|
|Stadia / Venues /Arena infrastructure|
Thursday, 14 July 2011 11:05
Sao Paulo’s chances of staging the opening ceremony of soccer’s 2014 World Cup improved after FIFA accepted a guarantee that SC Corinthians Paulista’s new stadium will be completed in time for the tournament.
The stadium, being built by Odebrecht SA, will cost US$522 million, according to Corinthians President Andres Sanchez. BNDES, the national development bank, pledged US$400 million and the city of Sao Paulo will provide a property fund worth US$400 million.
On a statement on the Corinthians website, Ricardo Teixeira, president of the World Cup local organising committee and the Brazilian Football Confederation, said: “This approval -- in record time, less than a year -- is the result of efforts by the government of Sao Paulo, particularly the Governor Geraldo Alckmin and Mayor Gilberto Kassab."
FIFA’s approval of the project to build a new home for Brazil’s biggest soccer club by revenue -- which originally had a cost estimate of US$1.2 billion -- was required for Sao Paulo to host World Cup games.
In June, sports minister Orlando Silva said in an interview that the federal government would tell tournament organizer FIFA that Sao Paulo, Salvador, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia are eligible to stage the opening ceremony.
FIFA will announce the venue in October.
Sanchez said: “I said before that if Corinthians could fulfill all the requirements of FIFA, the opening of the World Cup would be in Sao Paulo. Corinthians gave the guarantees required by FIFA, so the opening will be in Sao Paulo.”
Most of the funding for investment in airports, stadiums, ports and urban transportation before the World Cup will come from the government.