Brazil on schedule for World Cup, Olympics: Rousseff

Brasilia: Preparations for the 2014 football World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games are proceeding at a good clip, with nine of 10 stadiums likely finished next year, Brazil`s President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday.

"The renovation and construction of the stadiums is proceeding at an adequate pace," Rousseff said during her weekly press conference.

In June, world soccer body FIFA had expressed concern over what it said was the slow pace of building and transportation improvements ahead of the World Cup.

But Rousseff told reporters that earlier problems that had slowed the construction of the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paolo have been resolved, and that conditions now are in place to begin work on a stadium in Natal in northeastern Brazil.

Rousseff added that efforts also are underway to modernize Brazil`s airports, after organizers of the two massive sporting events fretted that the country might not be prepared to handle the crush of tourists during the high profile games.

Giovanni Bisignani, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), expressed doubts in June that the South American giant has adequate airport infrastructure, but Rousseff tried Tuesday to allay those concerns.

"Among the six airports in the host cities, the modernization work has already begun," the Brazilian leader said, adding that five other contracts are ready to be presented to builders so that they too can begin their renovation work.

Bureau Report