Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2013 Contents A57
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SAO PAULO---Fifa secretary general
Jerome Valcke began his latest inspection
tour of World Cup host cities Monday amid
uncertainty about whether Brazil will be
able to deliver the final six stadiums by
the December deadline established by Fifa.
Valcke is visiting the southern city of
Porto Alegre and will then move to the wet-
lands city of Cuiaba, where local organizers
are still trying to finalize a bidding process
for the seats at the new stadium.
There were problems in the southern city
of Curitiba, too, where construction was
halted because of workers safety concerns.
Brazilian organisers say all stadiums will
be completed in time despite the recent
Valcke has made it clear Fifa will not
accept the same delays that plagued stadium
construction before the Confederations Cup
earlier this year, when only two of the six
venues were delivered on time. Some were
ready just before the start of the warm-up
tournament, keeping organisers from hosting
the desired number of test events.
Of the six stadiums yet to be completed,
five were less than 90 per cent finished by
September, according to recent government
numbers. The venues with the most
advanced work were in Natal and in Sao
Paulo, home of the World Cup opener on June 12.
The stadium in Cuiaba was set to be completed
by the Fifa deadline but the problem with the seats
has prompted concerns.
Local officials were forced to cancel the initial bid-
ding process for the seats after public prosecutors
alleged they were overpriced, prompting a rush to
find a new supplier. Local organisers said they want
the new seats delivered by December 20, just days
before the Fifa deadline.
In Curitiba, organisers were still trying to reverse
a judge s order that suspended construction after an
inspection team deemed the site unsafe for workers.
The work was stopped on Thursday and a new inspec-
tion took place Friday after officials said the safety
problems were solved, but it remains unclear when
the judge will issue a new ruling.
Valcke was visiting Porto Alegre and Cuiaba accom-
panied by local World Cup organising committee
members Ronaldo and Bebeto, former Brazil stars.
Brazil s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo also was expected
In both cities, Valcke was expected to meet with
high-ranking government officials in charge of the
local preparations. He will also check on infrastructure
work being done at the host cities.
Valcke is also giving away symbolic tickets to rep-
resentatives of the construction workers, who will
be allowed to watch one match for free at the ven-
The secretary general will participate in a board
meeting of the local World Cup committee in Rio
de Janeiro on Thursday. (AP)
Valcke in Brazil amid uncertainty over stadiums
GENEVA---Fifa plans to create an international
league table of countries which have problems with
racism and discrimination in sports.
At a United Nations forum on racism and football
yesterday, Fifa delegate Tokyo Sexwale said the global
"barometer" was central to the football governing
body s work to tackle discrimination.
"The barometer is going to tell that society that the
conduct of your sporting people is bringing your coun-
try down," Sexwale, a member of Fifa s Task Force
against Racism and Discrimination told his audience
of diplomats and officials. "I don t think anybody here
would like to be low on the barometer."
The South African former anti-apartheid activist
said Fifa will organise a summit on racism next year
with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Mandela himself believes that "sport is more pow-
erful than government in breaking down barriers,"
Sexwale said. A Liverpool fan, Sexwale also cited the
case of the club s forward Luis Suarez, who served
an eight-match ban for racially insulting a black
opponent in a Premier League match in 2011.
FIFA intends to give more details of its anti-dis-
crimination project at the Doha Goals sports con-
ference in Qatar, scheduled December 9-11.
Closer monitoring of countries where incidents
involving players or fans are reported is "very, very
key" to Fifa s work, Sexwale told the audience at the
UN s European headquarters.
"We are taking the bull by the horns beyond football
in recognition of the fact that FIFA has taken the
lead once again," he said.
In January, FIFA president Sepp Blatter created a
racism task force after Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince
Boateng, then playing for AC Milan, led his teammates
off the pitch after being abused by fans during a
friendly against a fourth-tier Italian club.
Boateng attended a previous UN session on the
issue in March which was followed by two meetings
of the FIFA panel and a toughening up of football s
sanctions for racial abuse and discrimination. (AP)
Fifa plans league
table of nations'
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