Rio to stage World Cup final, opener in Sao Paulo

Zurich: Rio de Janeiro will stage the 2014 World Cup final with Sao Paulo hosting the tournament`s opening match featuring Brazil, world soccer`s governing body FIFA announced.

The semi-finals were awarded to Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo, which has only just started work on its stadium and was omitted from the 2013 Confederations Cup warm-up event.

The match schedule for the event, which begins on June 12, could involve a lot of travelling for squads and fans after organisers decided against basing teams in one or two venues.

"The teams will travel around the country so that not just the biggest cities get the best teams," said Ricardo Teixeira, head of the local organising committee.

Sao Paulo only began work on the Itaquerao stadium in June after the original venue, the Morumbi, was ruled out last year because of a lack of financial guarantees.

The team eventually drawn as number two in Group A will have to play in Sao Paulo in the south-east, then travel to Manaus, a 3-1/2 hour flight away, and finally Recife, another long flight, in their first round group.

"It`s a big task and a long job, we had 57 versions of the match schedule," said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke. "We took into account medical factors, logistics, travel and accommodation."

Bureau Report

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