Brazil Deputy Sports Minister Claims World Cup Venues Will Be Ready On Time
Brazil Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes said that Manaus, one of the 12 cities due to stage World Cup matches in Brazil in 18 months, "will be ready on time," despite fears expressed by FIFA, according to Mike Collett of REUTERS. Fernandes said, "There is no threat whatsoever to any of the 12 host cities not being ready in time. We are confident that all the host cities are confirmed, and there are no threats to any of them." Last month, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke expressed concern that Manaus "would not be ready in time." Fernandes added, "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. There is no obstacle in place that will threaten Manaus hosting matches in 2014" (REUTERS, 12/12).