Soccer

First 2014 SWC stadium opens

2012-12-17 13:16
Sepp Blatter (File)
Rio de Janeiro - The Castelao Arena in the northeastern Brazilian city of Fortaleza became the first stadium to be inaugurated for the 2014 Soccer World Cup on Sunday.

Along with the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, to be opened on December 21, they are the only stadiums to meet the December 2012 deadline set originally for next year's Confederations Cup, a World Cup finals dress rehearsal.

President Dilma Rousseff attended the opening ceremony at the Castelao, which has been completely refurbished at a cost of 518.6 million Brazilian reals ($249.18 million) with a capacity for 67 000.

She said inauguration of the first stadium for the 2014 tournament and Corinthians' victory in the Club World Cup final in Japan earlier on Sunday showed Brazil's strength on and off the soccer field.

"Brazil is capable of both things, winning on the football fields and building a stadium of this standing," she said.

The biggest of the northeastern venues, Castelao will host six World Cup matches including one of Brazil's in the first round, a second-round game and a quarterfinal.

It will also host three Confederations Cup matches including Brazil's group stage meeting with Mexico on June 19, the stadium's debut in an official FIFA tournament.

FIFA extended the deadline for the other Confederations Cup venues, Brasilia, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, until March while the remaining World Cup stadiums will be completed sometime during 2013.

"This is a very special day for us at FIFA because it marks the two great events that will take place in Brazil in the coming years, the Confederations Cup and the World Cup," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a message recorded in Tokyo where he was attending the Club World Cup and shown at the Castelao.

Brazil's World Cup preparations have been criticised several times by FIFA due to delays notably with airports and urban transport with the world body's general secretary Jerome Valcke once memorably saying the country needed "a kick in the backside".

Read more on:    fifa  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Chelsea suffer setback

2014-04-19 20:34

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.