World Cup will succeed despite mistakes, says minister

SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – – Mistakes have been made in organising and communicating the benefits of the 2014 World Cup but Brazil will still put on a “fantastic” tournament in June and July, Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes said yesterday.

Fernandes said the federal government was excluded from part of the decision-making process between 2007, the year Brazil was awarded the right to host the tournament, and 2012.

“It would have been better to have had government representatives on the board of the local organising committee of the World Cup from the very start,” he told international reporters in a conference call.

“We were only included in that process a little more than two years ago and I think if we had been included from the very beginning the level of integration would have been greater and that would have been better.”

Fernandes said it should not have been assumed that the benefits of staging the tournament in Brazil were evident to all and lessons had been learned for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio has already drawn much of the same criticism that has assailed haphazard World Cup preparations over the last few months. Three of the 12 World Cup stadiums are still not 100 percent finished with the opening game just two weeks away.

Much of the promised public transportation infrastructure has either been scaled back, abandoned altogether or will not be ready in time for the first World Cup to be held in South America since 1978.

In Brazil’s defence, Fernandes suggested some parts of the developed world were prejudiced against developing nations.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a media campaign against Brazil,” he told reporters. “I’d say there is in general a sector of society that is prejudiced against the capacity of developing countries to deliver this type of event.

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