Brazil, plagued by delays and in-fighting
in its preparations for the 2014 World Cup, could stage the
event in two months' time if necessary, the country's sports
minister said on Friday.
Aldo Rebelo said work at all but one of Brazil's 12 venues
was now on schedule and promised that other infrastructure,
including airports, could handle the expected number of
He also defended cut-price tickets for low income families
and Brazil's native Indians, an issue which has divided the
Brazilian government and football's governing body FIFA.
"People might think that I'm exaggerating, but my impression
is that if Brazil had to organise the World Cup in two months'
time, we would be ready," Rebelo told the programme "Good
morning, Minister" on the government-run NBR channel.
"We can do everything which is planned for the World Cup,"
added Rebelo, appointed in October to replace Orlando Silva who
quit over corruption allegations.
Rebelo said the only stadium which had fallen behind
schedule was the Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, where work has been
paralysed for nearly six months.
This has followed a disagreement between Internacional, the
club which own the stadium, and construction companies due to
carry out the refurbishment work.
Rebelo played down media reports of disagreements between
FIFA, which wants full control over ticket prices, and Brazil's
Congress, which wants price reductions for certain sections of
FIFA has told Brazil to pass a law implementing its
conditions, drawing opposition from Congress where some
politicians have seen the demand as an affront to the country's
"We are all making a common effort but it's natural to have
differences in any given activity," said Rebelo.
"As well as tickets for senior citizens and students, I have
asked for a portion of tickets to be set aside for low incomes
families and the indigenous population.
"Half price would not resolve the matter because that is
still too high for their income.
"It would not make sense to hold the World Cup in Manaus and
not allow the indigenous population to see the games," he added,
referring to the city situated in the heart of the Amazon rain
He added that Brazil was used to staging big events and that
airports could cope, even if they were handling more than their
"The carnival in Rio de Janeiro mobilises more people in a
week than we will have at the World Cup," he said.
"Salvador and Recife also have a much bigger presence for
Rebelo's interview came one day after former Brazil striker
Ronaldo joined the Local Organising Committee in an attempt to
boost its public image.
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