Brazil lags 95 percent in 2014 Football World Cup work
Rio de Janeiro, May 24 (IANS) A Brazilian government report has revealed just five percent of the country's 2014 Football World Cup projects have been completed, implying nearly 95 percent work remains to be done.
The new figures come with little more than two years left for tournament and a year from the Confederations Cup, considered an organisational warm-up for the mega event.
Completed projects account for just one percent of Brazil's $13 billion budget for the World Cup, according to the report released Wednesday.
Of the 101 construction projects, 41 are yet to leave the drawing board. They include key works for stadiums, ports, roads and airports, xinhua reports.
Brazil's Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo denied the figures were cause for concern.
'I don't know why so many people have a problem with work not leaving the drawing board,' Rebelo said. 'It doesn't necessarily mean we are behind schedule.'
'I consider the elaboration of plans and tender processes a very important part of the works. I don't consider it a delay, but a gain. If it means the project is carried out the right way, then it's a win.'
Under Brazil's commitment with FIFA, six of the country's 12 World Cup stadiums must be complete by next February in readiness for the Confederations Cup.
Fortaleza's stadium is the most advanced with 62 percent of work complete while Curitiba (11 percent complete) has caused officials most concern.
In March, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke stirred controversy in Brazil when he said the country needed a 'kick up the backside' to be ready for the World Cup.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter reiterated the soccer body's concerns earlier this month, saying he hoped delays would be resolved 'sooner rather than later'.
Rebelo called on FIFA to have faith in Brazil's ability to deliver its World Cup projects on time.
'Pessimism and optimism have always been part of the country's evolution and sometimes they can contaminate foreign officials like Joseph Blatter,' Rebelo said. 'It's hard to change that because he is so far away.'
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