2014 World Cup to start on June 12, FIFA says
Rio de Janeiro: The 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil will start on June 12 with the final on July 13, FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke said.
Valcke said the exact match and venue schedule will be announced after FIFA's executive committee meets on October 20-21.
"We are still working on the match schedules and venues, and these will be ratified by the World Cup organising committee and the FIFA executive committee in October," Valcke said before adding that the 2013 Confederations Cup, the World Cup dress rehearsal tournament, will run from June 15 to June 30 in 2013.
Valcke was highly critical of Brazil's preparations for the World Cup when he spoke in Moscow last month, but FIFA president Sepp Blatter said new confidence had been established between FIFA and the local organising committee.
"The Government, the minister of sport and the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff are all confident, and we at FIFA are also confident and we have the trust that this World Cup will be a success.”
"It is a country not only of football but of happiness, but the reality is that there is still some work to be done.”
"But I am sure, with trust and confidence, Brazil and FIFA together will deliver an exceptional World Cup in 2014."
As far as the Confederations Cup was concerned, Valcke said the decision on the venues for that competition would be taken bearing in mind the state of readiness of construction work on the stadiums.
FIFA's top brass are in Rio for Saturday's draw for the qualifying competition for the 2014 finals, which involved a record number of 203 of FIFA's 208 member nations.
A total of 824 matches are scheduled to played in the qualifying campaign, with some preliminary round matches having already taken place. The qualifiers will last until November 2013.