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Pele casts doubt on Brazil's World Cup readiness

  • ESPN, Friday, October 28, 2011 3:11 PM

Brazilian legend Pele expressed his concern to Harry Harris of ESPN that his home country is "not ready" to host the World Cup in 2014. Pele cited chaotic organization and communication difficulties as the biggest problems and said he is now working with President Dilma Rousseff in a bid to get the World Cup finals back on track.

"Brazil is not ready," said Pele. "Not yet, it is not ready. With the team we have no problem, it is easy. The biggest problem, I think, is the organization, that is a big problem, so too is the communications. I am now working directly with the President of Brazil to get it working and she is doing her best to help out with the organization."

Pele said he is optimistic the tournament will run smoothly, but FIFA too has expressed its concerns and Pele's comments can be considered the first time anyone within the World Cup inner circle has confessed to the significance of the problems.

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke is concerned over delays at new stadiums and developments to existing stadiums. "There is a lot of work to deliver," he said. "We don't have stadiums, we don't have airports, we don't have a national transportation system in place and we are one month away from the preliminary draw. The Maracana is definitely not currently a World Cup stadium and that's why it's closed. It will be ready at the last minute, a few months maybe, even a few weeks before the tournament if they don't speed up the process."

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