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Volume 24 No. 156

Events and Attractions

FIFA President Sepp Blatter yesterday warned Brazil that they "needed to speed up preparations to host the 2014 World Cup, telling them the tournament was 'tomorrow' and not the day after," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. Blatter: "I would like to tell my Brazilian colleagues about the 2014 World Cup, it's tomorrow, the Brazilians think it's just the day after tomorrow. We are hoping for a little good faith, things are not advancing very quickly." Blatter compared Brazil to South Africa three years before hosting the '10 FIFA World Cup, saying Brazil "has not got as far as South Africa in its preparations." Homewood noted the FIFA Confederations Cup is "held the year before the World Cup in the same country and is used as dress rehearsal for the main stadiums," but Blatter said, "If Brazil keeps going like this there will not be matches in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo at the Confederations Cup" (REUTERS, 3/28).

NAMING GAME: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Joe Leahy reported Brazil's government is "planning a 'name and shame' system to speed up the country's preparations" for the World Cup and '16 Olympics "amid concerns it is lagging behind." Brazil President Dilma Rousseff "plans to introduce a system ... under which the progress of various levels of government in implementing project targets would be published regularly." Concerns are "growing about the pace of preparations for both events," as former Brazil F Pele "warned last month that Brazil was at risk of embarrassing itself during the 2014 World Cup if it did not speed up the building and upgrading of the country's stadiums and airport infrastructure." Brazil will spend $13.3B "on preparations in 12 cities for the World Cup." But analysts said that most projects for the tournament are "behind schedule and construction of some of the stadiums has not even begun." Project Management Institute Sao Paulo Chapter President Otavio Augusto Martins Nese: "I believe we need one more year for the planning of the World Cup. We need four years total." Leahy noted Brazil has a $2.8B budget for running the Olympics, with a further $11.6B "to be invested in infrastructure projects, although there may be overlap between spending on the World Cup and continuing infrastructure projects" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/28).