(WFI) A full six cities will stage the 2013 Confederations Cup, confirm FIFA and Brazil 2014.
LOC board member Ronaldo and FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil flank Walter de Gregorio. (FIFA)
After falling behind schedule in stadium construction, the northeastern cities of Salvador and Recife were put on notice earlier this year but survived Thursday’s cut.
Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Salvador and Fortaleza will also host matches during the World Cup dress rehearsal.
“Today, it’s a point of no return,” FIFA communications director Walter de Gregorio said at the announcement in Sao Paulo.
“There’s no way back. It’s a huge challenge. The timeframe is very tight. In a way we’re very happy we found a solution, but I have to make it very clear as well that we are still concerned because we are not able to have the stadiums as it was planned from the very beginning.”
FIFA had insisted all six stadia be complete six months before the June 15 kickoff but abandoned that timeline Thursday in favor of an April 15 cutoff to begin testing.
Notably, only Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza will be ready by the original Dec. 15 deadline.
“There is no Plan B because we are convinced this is the date,” said Gregorio.
“If we weren’t convinced they will be ready for April, we wouldn’t have announced the six host cities. We are 100 percent convinced we can all deliver together.”
In making the announcement, Local Organizing Committee chairman Jose Maria Marin admitted “the schedule is very tight” but insisted Thursday’s decision was the right one for Brazil and for the 2014 World Cup, which will include the six Confederations Cup hosts along with six additional cities.
Jose Maria Marin and Brazilian sports minister Aldo Rebelo. (FIFA)
“We have also weighed the benefits of an event such as the Confederations Cup for the economy of those cities and for the pride of those local populations and obviously as an experience and a rehearsal for the great spectacle of the following year,” he said. “In other words, the World Cup.”
Also at the Museo do Futebol, FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil laid out the ticketing plan for 2013, unveiling approximately 830,000 tickets for the 16 matches featuring continental champions Spain, Japan, Mexico, Uruguay and Tahiti along with Euro 2012 runner-ups Italy, hosts Brazil and a yet to be determined African champ.
A draw ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 1 with public ticket sales to launch Dec. 3 via FIFA.com.
For the group stage, tickets for international supporters range from $60 to $140, while tickets for Brazilians start at $28 and run through $131.
Per Brazilian law, at least 1 percent of all tickets will be made available for disabled customers, who also get the option of a complimentary ticket for a companion.
For more information on the ticketing scheme, click here
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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