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Lula regrets decision to drop Sao Paulo stadium from 2014 World Cup

June 19th, 2010

Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva regretted on Thursday the 2014 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee’s decision to drop Sao Paulo stadium Morumbi from the list of possible host venues.

The decision was announced on Wednesday. According to the committee, Sao Paulo failed to present the financial guarantees for the renovations which would be necessary to adequate the Morumbi stadium to the World Cup standards.

Sao Paulo was expected to host the opening match and a semifinal match in the 2014 World Cup. The local organizing committee has yet to provide an alternate location for the matches.

President Lula considered it strange that a city such as Sao Paulo, the largest in Brazil, does not have a stadium able to host a World Cup match.

“I honestly do not know, I am no expert, but I cannot believe that a stadium from such an important team as Sao Paulo (Football Club), which has already held 100,000 people, is not fit for the World Cup,” he said.

Lula reaffirmed that no public money will be used to make the stadiums’ renovations for the World Cup, but stressed that 400 million reais (223.4 million U.S. dollars) are available for the projects through the Brazilian Development Bank’s (BNDES) loans.

The President also commented on the 2-1 victory of the Brazilian squad over DPR Korea on Tuesday. The World Cup victory was considered lame by many, but Lula said the squad played as it should, adding that the Brazilians expect too much from the players.

“I think that Brazil is there to be the champion,” he said. “Let the boys play ball.”

Source: Xinhua

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