Sports Minister: Host cities will be ready for 2014
Brazil's deputy sports minister has insisted that all twelve cities are on track for completion in time for the 2014 World Cup despite some setbacks at Manaus.
Luis Fernandes, deputy sports minister, insisted that all twelve host cities will be ready in time for the event.
"There is no threat whatsoever to any of the 12 host cities not being ready in time," Fernandes told international journalists. "We are confident that all the host cities are confirmed and there are no threats to any of them."
Last month, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke expressed concern that Manaus would not be ready in time.
"For us, the Brazilian government and our partners at municipal and state level the World Cup is an historic opportunity to ferment national development and that involves establishing regional development throughout the country," Fernandes said on Wednesday.
"Manaus is in the heart of the Amazon jungle and that has added to the complexity of organising the World Cup there. It is not an area that has easy access as other cities do so it demands special attention because of the specific nature of the city.
"But we are in continuous discussions with the state government in terms of guaranteeing that all essential investment in terms of having the World Cup there is in place.
"I don't think it is correct to say it is behind schedule with respect to what is essential for the World Cup to be there but there are a number of special challenges. Boats have to get there because they are going to be used as accommodation during the World Cup.
"We have to discuss whether people will stay there for the games or stay in other regions and fly in for games. There is no obstacle in place that will threaten Manaus hosting matches in 2014."