RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's much-criticised
2014 World Cup preparations will be accelerated towards the end
of the year and improve the country's image, sports minister
Orlando Silva said on Thursday.
Work on most of the 12 stadiums has been hit by increases in
costs with the worst case in Sao Paulo where construction of
Corinthians' new ground, earmarked for the opening match, is
still to start three years before the finals.
"FIFA has been systematically following Brazil's
preparations and knows the effort the country is making to
comply with all the demands," Silva told the Radiobras programme
"Good morning minister" in an interview.
"I believe that as we move from 2011 into 2012 the
perception of Brazil will change because work on the stadiums at
that stage will be very different. I'm confident of that turning
However, Silva said on Monday it was unlikely the
Corinthians stadium would be ready for the 2013 Confederations
Cup, a rehearsal for the World Cup finals a year later, while
the start of its construction is delayed by red tape.
Apart from Sao Paulo, work on the stadium in Natal in the
north of the country is behind time, while the Maracana in Rio,
likely to stage the final, required a huge increase in budget
because of the need to replace the top tier because of
Silva confirmed that President Dilma Rousseff's decision
last month to turn over the improvement and running of airports
to private firms had been well received by world governing body
FIFA, which had criticised transportation in Brazil.
He said there would also be an investment of 700 million
Brazilian reais ($420.2 million) in the ports of venue cities to
receive passengers from Ocean cruise ships.
"It's an investment of 700 million focused on passenger
terminals. With this investment we'll have adequate tourist
terminals for the World Cup," he said.
Silva put at 47 billion reais the total of public and
private investments in World Cup related projects from work on
stadiums and airports to health, security, hotels and
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