RIO DE JANEIRO - The 2014 World Cup
in Brazil, beset by delays in work on stadiums and a dire
need for better transport and airports, will not be the best
ever, former striker Romario said in an interview published on
Romario, now a member of Congress, has been a big critic of
his country's preparations for football's showpiece tournament
despite being part of the Brazilian committee at FIFA
headquarters in Zurich when Brazil was named as host.
The former Barcelona striker, a World Cup winner with Brazil
in 1994, has called on Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF)
president Ricardo Teixeira to clarify corruption allegations
made against him.
"Back then, when the cup was handed to Brazil, there was
much celebration. I said two things: Brazil not only had the
conditions to hold the World Cup but also the best of all time.
I hold by the first idea (but) I withdraw the second," he said.
"Because, from what I'm seeing, things aren't going to
happen. We'll have the Cup but sadly we'll have problems and it
won't be the best," Romario told the daily Folha de Sao Paulo in
his office in the capital, Brasilia.
"I'm going to tell you a truth: the gospels say Jesus will
return. Only He can ensure Brazil stage the best cup. If he
comes down in the next three years, then it will be possible."
Of the 12 stadiums being refurbished or built from scratch,
two have yet to get beyond the paperwork, including in Sao
Paulo, Brazil's biggest city. This delay has led to FIFA
discarding Sao Paulo for the Confederations Cup in 2013.
Romario said the original budget for the venues kept
"We've been to five venues of the 2014 Cup and we're going
to others. There used to be a budget at the beginning of the
preparations that has at least doubled. Going by what we heard
at the venue cities, they made plans they can't meet," he said.
"FIFA makes a recommendation to the LOC (local organising
committee) and the LOC makes it an obligation. The way things
are going, the stadiums will reach [a cost of] 15 billion
(Brazilian) reais ($9.39 billion) and that's absurd."
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