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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has fired back at critics who have charged her administration with mismanagement of infrastructure projects related to the upcoming World Cup.
Rousseff on Friday said that Brazil’s airports, for example, will be able to accommodate the extra aircraft traffic and number of travelers as tens of thousands of people arrive in Brazil June 12 to July 13 for the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.
While visiting Salgado Filho Airport in the city of Porto Alegre, one of the host cities, Rousseff said: “The two terminals in Porto Alegre are more than enough for the Cup. The projects will attend to the Cup, but are not for the Cup. They are for the people of this country.”
“They (critics) don’t pay attention to one crucial fact about Brazil.People who previously did not even enter an airport are now going in there and taking flights,” she added.
Her statements came amid criticism that too many delays could mean the airports, stadiums and other projects may not be ready in the two months until the kickoff.
Three main stadiums, including the one in Sao Paulo – host city of the opening match between Brazil and Croatia, remain under construction but are expected to be ready by mid-May.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter earlier said: “Some of the delays is because there was no work for years. But we’re on the way now to finishing the stadiums”.
On Friday, Rousseff assured Blatter during a phone call that all will be ready on time.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian Tourism Ministry forecasts that the 2014 soccer World Cup will generate around 62.1 billion reais (or $27.7 billion) in revenues, three times what was injected into the country’s economy during last year’s Confederations Cup tourney.