Sao Paulo urged to replace Morumbi

JOHANNESBURG - Brazil's largest city Sao Paulo needs to find an alternative venue for the 2014 World Cup after the Morumbi stadium was dropped due to lack of financial guarantees for renovation, FIFA said on Saturday.

"How can you imagine that there would be no World Cup stadium or no World Cup matches in Sao Paulo which is the first city in Brazil?" the world football body's general secretary Jerome Valcke told reporters.

The dropping of Morumbi was announced earlier this month, ending lengthy controversy over the stadium, owned by local club Sao Paulo, and adding to general concerns over Brazil's preparations for the next World Cup.

"Morumbi is out. It's good news," Valcke said. "There is a time you have to stop playing."

He said FIFA would discuss alternatives with Sao Paulo officials who are considering building a completely new stadium.

"We will have a meeting with the people of Sao Paulo, with the city of Sao Paulo, and I am sure that we will find a solution to play games in Sao Paulo," he said. "But it's true that to play matches in Sao Paulo we need a stadium."

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