- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
- Kremlin blocks opposition websites; Kasparov fears Putin plans ‘something drastic’
- Saving trees? EPA wastes $1.5 million storing unneeded pamphlets in warehouse
- Scott Brown Senate bid in New Hampshire may launch soon
- Jeffrey Corzine, son of ex-N.J. governor, dead at 31
- Australian surfing magazine sorry for calling indigenous surfer ‘apeish’
- Records: Man in Fla. theater shooting also was texting
- The Putin problem: U.S. needs Russian rockets for spy satellites
Blatter: Mid-April finish for damaged WCup stadium
COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL (AP) - The damaged stadium in Sao Paulo won’t hold its first match until less than two months before the World Cup is to open there.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter set a new deadline Thursday following a fatal construction accident at Arena Corinthians last week. He told a news conference that April 14 or 15 is the expected delivery date.
“For the time being there is no Plan B,” Blatter said, answering speculation FIFA might seek a replacement stadium or move matches to other cities despite many tickets already being sold.
On June 12, the repaired stadium is to host the sold-out opening match featuring host nation Brazil, following a lavish opening ceremony watched by some heads of state among the invited guests.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke later said the mid-April target was for the first match to test the stadium operations.
The governing body has had to compromise on its original demand that all 12 World Cup stadiums be delivered by the end of 2013 to allow for a minimum three test events.
Arena Corinthians was set to meet its construction deadline before the Nov. 27 accident. Two construction workers died when a crane crashed and damaged part of the stadium. Work has resumed after a three-day period of mourning at the site.
Two more stadiums will be construction sites into 2014. The southern city of Curitiba and the wetlands city of Cuiaba will not deliver their stadiums until late January or February.
Blatter announced a FIFA gift to Brazil of up to $100 million in a World Cup legacy for investment in soccer development, as it gave South Africa after the 2010 tournament.
FIFA brought forward the announcement with an initial $20 million guarantee, plus more depending on the financial success of the tournament, which is expected to generate at least $4 billion in commercial revenue for the ruling body.
“We hope everybody is working well and at the end when we leave, as in South Africa there will be $100 million or even more in this trust,” Blatter said.
FIFA will also give the World Cup winner $35 million in prize money, and all 32 competing nations will get at least $8 million.
The figures were agreed to Thursday by FIFA’s executive committee as part of a $576 million pot of payments. It includes a previously agreed $70 million to clubs worldwide whose players are selected and $100 million in a long-term insurance policy to cover salaries of players injured on national team duty.
At the 2010 World Cup, champion Spain earned $30 million from a $348 million teams’ prize money pot.
FIFA pays the money to the 32 national federations, which will each get an additional $1.5 million to prepare for the June 12-July 13 tournament in Brazil.
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- Justice Department refuses info on hundreds of prosecutor misconduct cases
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- CURL: Calm down, conservatives: Obama's 'Two Ferns' bit was brilliant
- PRUDEN: Sink sank own campaign in Florida special election
- EDITORIAL: Lois Lerner's dilemma
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again