FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke says there is 'not a minute to waste' in preparing the stadium that will stage the first game of the 2014 World Cup.

The Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo will host Brazil's match against Croatia on Thursday 12th June but Valcke has stressed that it will be ready for the tournament opener.

The Frenchman acknowledged that organisers are 'running against time' but understand they must meet their promise to finish the work in time.

Valcke said: "There is not a single minute we can waste, because there is still a lot of work to do to.

"We are running against time, but yes, the stadium will host the opening game and, yes, we will organize the opening game and all the other games in this stadium."

There is only one FIFA-scheduled test event planned for the venue before the World Cup begins, on 17th or 18th May, with 50,000 people expected to watch a Brazilian league match in the 70,000-seater stadium.

Construction work at the Itaquerao was significantly delayed last November after a crane collapsed and killed two workers.

Valcke also said there are 'potential issues' with two other stadiums; one of those is the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba which is yet to install 27,000 seats and the other is in Porto Alegre.

Another stadium yet to be completed is the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, which Valcke will visit on Wednesday.

Posted on 23/04/2014