Contradictory Claims Over State of Rio ’14 Preparations

March 31, 2011

A Rio engineering consult has made contradictory statements to organising chief of the 2014 World Cup Ricardo Teixeira, urging President Dilma Rousseff to take decisive steps for the sake of the World Cup but, more, for the sake of the country.

Jose Roberto Bernasconi agrees with FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s opinion that the preparations of the event are going very slowly.

Blatter’s criticism of Brazil’s World Cup preparations are reported to have persuaded Teixeira – head of the Brazilian federation and a powerful FIFA exco member – to turn against his old ally and FIFA presidential candidate Mohammed bin Hammam.

One of Blatter’s criticisms was of a lack of co-operation between Brazil’s federal and regional governments which was angrily denied by Teixeira. However, the intervention of Bernasconi – boss of the influential construction analyst Sinaenco – supports Blatter against Teixeira.

He says: “It is three years four months since Brazil was awarded the World Cup, a long time. In fact, we are at the halfway point to the finals and, unhappily, a long way from even having preparation work half-completed both for the Cup and to leave a positive legacy for Brazilian society.”

He said he had come to this conclusion on the basis of detailed research his company had undertaken of all the major football stadia throughout Brazil. He expressed particular concern about stadia delays in Natal and, especially, São Paulo which is due to host the Opening Match.

He concluded: “When responsibility for hosting the World Cup was accepted by former President Lula he was committing the nation to fulfil its duty not only to FIFA but to all Brazilians and to the billions of fans around the world whose attention will be focused on Brazil in 2014.

“On taking over, our current President undertook to follow through the responsibilities assumed in the name of the country by her predecessor.

“This is why it is fundamental that the President takes personal charge of the preparatory work relating to both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympoic Games in Rio de Janeiro.”