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World Cup 2014: Spain and Australia plans could be hit after Fifa threaten to axe Curitiba stadium

The venue is due to host four group stage matches at this summer's tournament
  • @simonrice

Spain and Australia are among the nations waiting to find out if they will have to rearrange their World Cup plans after Fifa threatened to axe one of the group stage venues.

The Arena da Baixada in Curitiba is well behind schedule, and organisers been given to mid-February to prove it will be ready in time for the tournament which starts on 12 June.

Should it fail the examination, Fifa will remove Curitiba as one of the host cities.

Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke said yesterday: "To be very honest, the situation as it stands is not ideal.

"The stadium is very delayed and well outside the delivery schedule to ensure best use by Fifa and the Fifa World Cup.

"But we have to be positive and that's why we have come together, as the main driving forces involved, to find solutions."

Curitiba will host four group stage matches, including Australia v Spain, Honduras v Ecuador, Iran v Nigeria and Algeria v Russia.

Qualified teams have already made detailed arrangements for the tournament which will have to be reappraised should Curitiba be axed.

Fans will also be anxious to see the situation resolved with tickets to the four games already sold. Curitiba is approximately 500 miles from Rio de Janeiro.

Fifa made clear that they wish for the Arena da Baixada, which is one of 12 venues being used for the tournament, to host the four games as planned, and have not put forward an alternative proposal.

Valcke added: "By February 18, the date of the Team Workshop in Florianopolis where all 32 qualifying sides will be given important information about the Fifa World Cup, we have to decide between us - the city of Curitiba, the state of Parana, Clube Atletico Paranaense football team, the LOC and Fifa - whether the stadium is in a position on that date to give us the confidence to hold World Cup matches there, without risking the organisation of the event.

"We will have people from Fifa and the LOC monitoring the stadium's progress on a daily basis and we will work together to guarantee that Curitiba will host Fifa World Cup games."