FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke made a brutally honest assessment of Brazil’s World Cup preparations 70 days before the tournament is scheduled to begin.
Preparations for the World Cup have been beset by problems.
Three stadiums remain a work in progress, including the one in Sao Paolo that is set to host the tournament curtain-raiser. They are not yet finished and much remained to be done both inside and outside stadiums. The main issues relate to the space reserved for the staff, press and sponsors.
With 600,000 international tourists descending on the county for the month-long competition, as well as three million Brazilians travelling to watch matches, there are fears that fans will be left having a negative experience due to transport chaos. Paul Irvine, who runs travel agency Dehouche in Rio de Janeiro, said: ‘People coming to Brazil are going to be shocked, especially Americans, by how bad the airports are’.
Added to this, the fact that there probably won’t be enough hotels to accommodate everyone when the world descends on Brazil in June, and the stage is set for a pretty chaotic scene within a frame of chronically under-funded health and public services, poor transport and violent crime.
Moreover, violent protests have flared intermittently since last year. Last month, a man was killed during clashes with police in Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach district. The scale of the protests at the Confederations Cup appeared to catch Brazilian authorities off-guard and a massive security blanket will be draped across the World Cup in an effort to avoid similar scenes.
Brazil will be able to make a good impression in front of the whole world?
We’ll know in a month!