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Brazil 2014: Curitiba retained for Socceroos' World Cup clash with Spain

Australia has been spared a logisitical nightmare after the venue for their final group game at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Curitiba, was given a last-minute reprieve by FIFA.

The Arena da Baixada in the southern city of Curitiba was on the cusp of having its hosting rights rescinded by FIFA after falling well behind deadlines for completion, originally set for December 31 last year. However, the game's governing body confirmed that it will remain a venue for the tournament having been encouraged by recent progress and financial guarantees in place to ensure it will be ready in time.

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Renovations to the stadium will be completed by May 15, less than a month before the tournament starts.

"It is essential that the works are maintained at the required levels and that a collective effort by all the stakeholders involved in Curitiba continues," FIFA secretary Jerome Valcke said.

Progressing: Curitiba's Arena da Baixada stadium is still under construction, but officials are confident the stadium ...
Progressing: Curitiba's Arena da Baixada stadium is still under construction, but officials are confident the stadium will be ready in time for the World Cup. Photo: AFP

"It is a race against a very tight timeline and will require regular monitoring, but we are counting on the commitment made by Atletico Paranaense, the city and the state of Curitiba."

The Socceroos will play Spain in Curitiba on June 23 in one of the four games to be held at the venue.

Had it been cut as a host city, it would have been an embarrassing blow for the local organising committee in Curitiba which has dealt with a number of strikes on the construction site as well as dealing with costs soaring well over the original budget of $60 million.

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