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Lula da Silva warns Brazil is falling back in 2014 World Cup infrastructure

Thursday, August 26th 2010 - 03:17 UTC
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Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium at the heart of the controversy Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium at the heart of the controversy

Brazil’s president Lula da Silva cautioned preparations for the 2014 World Cup could be jeopardized if government officials and businessmen fail to work together in the coming years.

The president said businessmen and those responsible for monitoring and executing the necessary infrastructure and stadium improvements must co-operate with each other to guarantee the country will be ready to host the tournament four years from now.

“We are going to have problems if we are not in agreement” Lula da Silva warned during a recent meeting with members of the infrastructure sector in Sao Paulo.

Brazil needs significant upgrades to successfully host soccer's biggest show and many critics and even some government officials say the country needs to pick up the pace to get ready on time.

Brazil is expected to invest nearly 20 billion USD in infrastructure to prepare for the World Cup, but bureaucracy, especially in bidding process and environmental licensing, may create obstacles and delay some of the necessary construction work.

Brazil has already missed a deadline to start renovating most of the 12 stadiums that will be used in the tournament. Sao Paulo, South America's largest city, is yet to present a project to replace Morumbi stadium after it was dropped because of a lack of financial guarantees.

Lula da Silva said “it would be irrational” not to have the tournament's opening match in Sao Paulo, but acknowledged that a decision on which venue would be presented to FIFA will not likely be made before Brazil's elections in October.

”Some of the (FIFA) demands are correct but some are exaggerated“ said Lula da Silva, ”but I think we will reach an agreement.”

Brazil's Sports Minister, Orlando Silva, said FIFA officials will be in Brazil in September to inspect all venues and said it would be important for Sao Paulo to have a project in place by then.

In addition to extensive improvements in infrastructure, Brazil will also have to overcome other challenges similar to the ones faced by South Africa — high crime rates, a huge disparity between rich and poor, and long distances between host cities.

On Tuesday, police underwent a series of practice drills, including anti-bomb actions, aimed at maintaining public safety inside stadiums. Brazil will also host the Confederations Cup in 2013 and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • vince kerr

    Nice read, I support our president.
    burning calories

    Aug 26th, 2010 - 06:01 pm 0
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