Preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil have come under attack from FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke due to the slow pace things are going on. Stadium development plus work on airports and the transport system are lagging well behind schedule.
Valcke told the inaugural Inside World Football Forum in Moscow: “There is a lot of work to deliver. We don’t have stadiums, we don’t have airports, we don’t have a national transportation system in place and we are one month away from the preliminary draw.”
He added: “The Maracanã is definitely not currently a World Cup stadium and that’s why it’s closed. It will be ready at the last minute, a few months maybe, even a few weeks before the tournament if they don’t speed up the process.
“In São Paulo, the main city in Brazil, they will not even be able to play the Confederations Cup in 2013 because the stadium will not be ready.”
In his speech the FIFA official said Russia, which will host the event in 2018, is more advanced than Brazil in the preparations.
Valcke suggested the main aim in Brazil is to win the World Cup rather than organize a successful tournament.
“In South Africa the main goal was to show the world that Africa could organize a World Cup,” said Valcke. “In Brazil, in a way the main issue is to win it. Otherwise they will talk about failure.”
Somewhat connected to the Cup and the Olympics being held in Brazil two years later, the country, which has already begun the process of handing over airports to private investment, is now preparing 45 ports to be licensed to operators.
Brazil plans to auction first the rights to build and operate a new port terminal in the Amazon city of Manaus, according to Tiago Lima, director of Brazilian water transportation agency Antaq.
Antaq had hoped to auction the rights for the city’s port in May but is still awaiting authorization from the country’s Minister of Ports.
Most of the ports are located in Brazil’s industrial and agricultural powerhouse in the south and southeast regions, with only seven of the 45 ports located in the north or northeast.
Brazil handed many port services over to private operators in the 1990s, but the ports themselves are administrated by a government body. The licenses that the government plans to grant will allow operators full control of the port, under Antaq’s supervision.
Brazil is seeking to build up its transportation infrastructure to cut down the cost of production and increase its competitiveness with global rivals.
Crowded ports often lead to delays in shipping, especially during the country’s important harvests, when trucks and ships are backed up at ports such as Santos, which handles more than a fourth of Brazil’s international shipping traffic.