World Cup starts 1 year from now: Can Brazil possibly be ready?

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

With the World Cup set to begin in exactly one year, Brazil promises it will be ready.

But only six of 12 planned stadiums, one for each host city, have been completed. And only two of the six finished stadiums to be used in the Confederations Cup, an eight-nation tournament starting Wednesday, were completed on time, the Associated Press reports.

“I do believe we could have delivered them sooner to allow for the realization of more test events, which could have anticipated some of the problems that arose during those test events,” Brazil sports minister Aldo Rebelo said (via the AP). “Apart from that, I believe that all requirements were executed in accordance with expectations and that we will have a Confederations Cup that will be held as expected.”

Infrastructure projects not ready for the Confederations Cup will be ready for the World Cup, Rebelo added.

“These works will be delivered in time, together with the next six stadiums,” he said. “Airport, security, telecommunications and urban mobility will be ready and compatible with the expectations held by the country and by the world.”

Budget overruns, construction delays and reports of corruption have plagued the runup to World Cup 2014.

Saturday, when Brazil begins Confederations Cup play against Japan, Rio residents evicted because of the World Cup and projects for the 2016 Olympics will protest what they call human rights violations. Officials say all the evictions were legal, according to the AP.

Critics like congressman Romario, a former Brazil striker, told the AP there's no way organizers will meet construction deadlines.

"The only certainty we have is that not all the work will get done as scheduled and that we will have this World Cup here with an absurd cost to the people of Brazil," he told the AP.

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