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Arena de Sao Paulo '97 per cent ready' for opener

That was the reassurance offered on Monday by Andres Sanchez, the former Corinthians president who is overseeing construction of the Arena de Sao Paulo, where two workers lost their lives in November after a crane collapsed.

Work has not yet resumed on the part of the stadium affected by the incident, but Sanchez described the venue, which will stage the 2014 tournament opener between Brazil and Croatia, as being "97 per cent ready".

"We have some things pending because of the accident but we've got the all-clear and by the end of the month they will remove the damaged piece," he said. "We will hand the stadium over by April 15."

FIFA declared themselves satisfied with the progress being made, even though work was supposed to have been completed last month.

"We are very happy with what we've seen today (Monday)," secretary general Jerome Valcke said. "A lot of work has been done, a lot of work has still to be done where the accident took place, but we are very confident that all is on track."

Delays have been a running theme in the build-up to the tournament, which begins on June 12, with all six stadiums that were due to be finished by December missing that deadline.