SUN CITY (South Africa): FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke says South Africa still isn’t ready to host the World Cup, and he doesn’t know where all the teams will be based during the tournament.
With barely three months remaining before the event, organisers still face problems with Soccer City — the incomplete Johannesburg venue for the opening match and final — filling stadiums, and handling the intense scrutiny on Englands proposed training camp.
“If the question is ‘Could we host the World Cup tomorrow morning?’ the answer is no,” Valcke said on Tuesday after a team workshop meeting in Sun City.
“At this stage, we couldn’t play the World Cup because Soccer City isn’t ready. At this stage, we couldn’t play the opening game. That’s a fact. We have 700,000 tickets still to sell. At this stage, I can make a list of things that aren’t ready for the World Cup.
“We have 108 days — it seems short, it is short, but even if we have to stay awake all night, every day we will be ready by the time of the World Cup.”
Valcke’s feisty comments came after a feisty exchange with reporters about the state of several training camps.
FIFA had wanted the list of training camps for the 32 finalists completed on Tuesday, but those plans have been derailed by teams still changing their plans ahead of the June 11-July 11 event.