SÃO PAULO, Brazil — With little more than two years until Brazil hosts the 2014 World Cup, nearly 41 percent of its infrastructure projects have yet to begin, and only 5 percent are complete.
Stadium construction is said to be progressing on schedule, but infrastructure projects like airports, mass transit and ports are still far behind, with 41 of the 101 projects still in the planning stage or awaiting the start of construction, reported Reuters.
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But Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said Brazil's World Cup preparations are right on schedule, according to the Associated Press.
"It shouldn't be considered a problem that these projects haven't started yet," Rebelo said to the AP. "It doesn't mean we have delays just because work on these projects hasn't started yet. The planning process is just as important as the execution process. Everything is on schedule. We feel the work will be delivered on time, before 2014."
According to RTÉ, only 28 of 51 planned transport projects have begun, as of April. Seven others are currently being bid on and concessions for nine are still in the process of being awarded. Airport upgrades also seem to be going at a slow pace, with work on only 13 of the 31 planned now underway.
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Tension between Brazil's World Cup committee and FIFA over the projects' slow progress has been high, particularly in March, when FIFA's general secretary Jerome Valcke said Brazil needed a "kick up the backside" to get moving more quickly.