ROME, JUNE 14 -- Scott LeTellier, president of the World Cup '94 Organizing Committee, said this afternoon that it was unlikely that either the opening or final games of the 1994 tournament would be held at RFK Stadium.
But the Washington-based LeTellier said D.C. has "an excellent chance" to be one of the host cities in four years, when the World Cup will be held in the United States.
The current games are being held in 12 cities in Italy. LeTellier said there would be no fewer than eight and no more than 12 U.S. cities serving as hosts.
Sources from among numerous U.S. site delegations visiting the Cup finals in Italy said that, at the moment, the strongest contending sites for opening and closing games are Stanford Stadium and the Rose Bowl on the West Coast, and Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami.
FIFA officials are said to consider Joe Robbie Stadium almost perfect in terms of VIP facilities, and the stadium and field itself.
LeTellier said that if Jack Kent Cooke were able to have a new stadium built by 1994, and if it "met international specifications," then Washington would be more "attractive" for the opener or final.
But, clearly, overtaking Joe Robbie Stadium, and Stanford and the Rose Bowl, would not seem likely. One scenario would have the Cup finals open in the West and close at Joe Robbie Stadium.
If RFK remains Washington's stadium in 1994, LeTellier said that it is "still a very satisfactory stadium" for some games. He also noted that being the nation's capital was a favorable factor.
Members of the '94 organizing committee, and delegations from U.S. cities, have been in Italy in recent days studying how the games are being put on.
LeTellier said that, from what he and his organizing group have seen, he is confident from a "logistical" standpoint that the Cup finals can be staged successfully in the U.S.
"The key for us," he said, "is raising the level of consciousness in our country . . . so that people will understand the magnitude of what this is."
A grass field is required by FIFA, the international soccer federation, so that would eliminate many stadiums unless they made changes.
Sites generally would be set up in pairs; for example, Stanford and the Rose Bowl. The Los Angeles Coliseum is said to be a possibility, but the Rose Bowl is seen more likely.
Tampa may be the strongest contender to pair with Miami. The Yale Bowl is said to be the leading possibility for a New York area site. Giants Stadium may be preferred, but has artificial turf and is narrow. Adjustments would have to be made, and reportedly there has been no indication they would be forthcoming.