World Cup: is Opening Match Guaranteed? Conflicting Statements

After a week of threats , approvals of emergency measures , endless meetings and promises that everything would be solved by  Friday (yesterday) , the FIFA delegation left Brazil without any definition . And conflicting statements between the Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Andres Sanchez , responsible for building the Itaquerão stadium, where the opening match of the World Cup , June 12th between Brazil vs Croatia should be performed .


Vistoria das obras Valcke e outros

Inspecting Works

Grandstands Itaquerão

Grandstands Itaquerão


In a TV interview Thursday night , Sanchez was firm : “Corinthians will pay, I am guaranteeing it. And Valcke knows that, I told him . . .” Meanwhile , at the Training Center of the club, however, President Mario Gobbi gave contrary statements . “Ithe Corinthians  is not the one who will benefit from the improvement . Everyone should look at themselves and know their duties; they owe that  to the country and the commitment of the opening of the World Cup .” Both men agree on one thing : they must continue to look for a partner to pay for the temporary structures .

The contractor Odebrecht , obvious candidate due to his involvement in the construction of stadiums , told the UOL that not only it will not pay for  the £ 60 million works but does not feel responsible for any of the World Cup temporary works . Representatives from FIFA and the local organizing committee also did not comment any further.

Not even the government broke its silence . During the week , the local, state and federal levels of government vehemently denied banking the costs of temporary structures . After the announcement of Andrés , the City and the Government of São Paulo kept the same story.  The Federal Government has not yet ruled .

The only definition was the date of the test match of  Itaquerão : May 17th in a  match between Figueirense x Corinthinas, for  the fifth round of the Championship . Yesterday , however , Brazilian newspapers commented that this was not resolved. ” The stadium is  Corinthians’ , not FIFA’s . Whilst we have the door key, we decide and nobody has anything to do with it ,” said Mario Gobbi , the club’spresident , when asked about the timeline . The talk was that  that the match would be between former players of the club : Corinthians x Corinthians .




About Betise Assumpcao Head

Communicator, specialized in Media Relations, Reputation, Crisis Management, corporate or individual. I started as a Sports Journalist (7 years, Mains newspapers and magazines in Brazil) turned into World Wide Press Officer (Senna 1990/1994), been to Games in Barcelona Atlanta, London & Rio 2016. Italy, Germany & Brazilian World Cups.

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