Rousseff insists 2014 World Cup plans on track

11 August 2011 10:31

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday brushed aside concerns over delays in preparations for the 2014 World Cup, insisting that all stadia would be ready in time for the tournament.

Practically all the works which were to have been carried out in the 12 venues across Brazil for the tournament have run into delays, with some struggling to meet FIFA construction deadlines.

But Rousseff insisted: "We have stadia which are still being built and these must be ready by December 2013 to be in an extremely calm and comfortable situation.

"There are others which are a little more delayed but all will be ready.

"I feel confident that Brazil will be ready in 2014 to present the best World Cup. We (the government) together with the governors and the mayors of the cities of the World Cup are taking all necessary measures to ensure that this will happen."

The Confederations Cup takes place in Brazil in June 2013 and will act as a warm-up for the World Cup requiring that most of the infrastructure for 2014 be in place.

World football governing body FIFA had expressed their concern over delays but gave the organisers a vote of confidence at the end of June, after the previous month announcing that two stadia - Sao Paulo and Natal - would not be ready to host host Confederations Cup matches.

Work has recently begun on the Sao Paulo stadium which will host the opening World Cup games but building has not started at Natal Stadium in the north east of the country.

As well as sporting infrastructure, Brazil will need to spend over $11.4 million on improving roads, hotels, improving security, telecommunications network and airport capacity.

"We are strictly following the timescale to extend those airports that are most congested in the country," added Rousseff, whose government have announced plans to privatise the administration of the international airports of Guarulhos and Viracopos (Sao Paulo), and Brasilia

As well as the 2014 World Cup, Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Source: AFP