$US50M fine for World Cup defaulters by Orin Davidson in New York
Stabroek News
February 15, 2004

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A hefty fine of 50 million U.S. dollars will be slapped on any country which fails to successfully stage games they are awarded for World Cup 2007, Guyana's Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, Gail Teixeira, has revealed.

"It is a great lot of money and so we will need the help of everyone, from all levels of society to make our World Cup ambitions a reality, Teixeira stressed at a media conference at the Guyana Consulate here in Manhattan recently.

Guyana and 11 other countries, including the United States, have submitted bids to stage games which will be assessed and completed later this month when bid books detailing the specific requirements will be distributed.

As a result plans are well on track for the building of Guyana's much-anticipation stadium to enhance its bid for one of eight tournament venues.

"We expect it to be the best of all the stadiums that will be built for the World Cup," the Minister said, referring to Indian Government officials who will provide the funding.

She said construction will start at the end of this year and the project will be a reality whether or not Guyana is awarded games.

It is a promise made by the Indian Government which they are committed to fulfilling, she stated.

The country's President Bharrat Jagdeo recently returned from India, stating they will provide a grant of 6M US dollars.

Teixeira said negotiations are still in progress on the details of the construction, relative to the level of Guyanese involvement in the building, but hinted that the majority of the work will be done by the Indians.

The facility will be located at Providence on the East Bank Demerara and will fulfil the stringent requirements for the staging of World Cup matches which the country's top ground for decades, the GCC, is lacking.

The International Cricket Council will determine the eight countries that will stage the games.

Teixeira, who recently assumed duties as chairperson of Guyana's Bid Committee, expressed confidence that the stadium will be completed in time for the World Cup to be hosted by the West Indies Cricket Board.