Brazil deserves kudos for Confederations Cup: Minister

Rio de Janeiro, June 11 (IANS) Despite some problems in the construction of venues, Brazil's Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said the country deserves kudos for its high level of preparedness for the FIFA Confederations Cup that kicks off in five days.

"We have managed to deliver all stadiums in time, though we could have delivered them earlier, so that test events could be held and problems detected at these events could be fixed," the minister was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Rebelo predicted the event will be held "successfully" and the tournament will fulfill its role as the main large-scale sporting event prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup games.

All six stadiums hosting Confederations Cup matches were supposed to be finished by December 2012, ensuring several months lead-time for test events and eventual adaptations, but only two stadiums were delivered before deadline.

The rest of the arenas were delivered in April and May, meaning there has been no opportunity to fully test their capacity to deal with large crowds.

The largest of the six stadiums, Rio's Maracana, is still receiving the final touches and is not expected to be fully finished until Sunday, hours before it hosts its first Cup match.

Rebelo said the problems would not occur at the stadiums that will host World Cup matches. Those stadiums are expected to be ready by December and, according to the minister, will be finished before the deadline.

Last week, Rebelo addressed another matter of concern regarding the Confederations Cup - the quality of Internet and cellphone services - saying despite delays in the installation of transmission equipment at the stadiums, communications will be reliable during the competition.

"There has been some delay in the installation of equipment, but that is already being done. Good quality data and image transmission for the Confederations Cup is ensured," the minister said.

All the stadiums should have been equipped with the proper communications services 120 days before the start of the Cup, but at some of them, such as Maracana, the equipment started being installed less than two months ago.

At test events held at Maracana and Mane Garrincha Stadium, in the capital Brasilia, which will host the Confederations Cup's opening match, several members of the press complained about the lack of reliable Internet access and cellphone signals.

"All of the operational, security and urban mobility plans for the six stadiums have been completed," said Rebelo. "We are prepared for the Confederations Cup."