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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup chit-chat: 'Soccer fans face the biggest challenge in Brazil'

World Cup chit-chat: 'Soccer fans face the biggest challenge in Brazil'

May 09, 2014 13:42 IST

World Cup chit-chat: 'Soccer fans face the biggest challenge in Brazil'

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Brazil's huge distances, shaky infrastructure, security problems and varying climate have turned the World Cup into a logistical nightmare for teams, officials and the media.

But the secretary general of world soccer's governing body FIFA, Jerome Valcke, admitted nobody will face as many difficulties as the hundreds of thousands of visiting fans who face high prices for limited transport and hotel options.

Valcke warned that fans could not just turn up in cities and sleep in their cars or at camping sites as they did in Germany eight years ago while they could not simply hop on trains to get from one place to another because there aren't any.

"The biggest challenge will be for them," Valcke told a group of international news agency reporters. "It will not be for the media, it will not be for the teams, it will not be for the officials, it will be for the fans.

"I know it's difficult to speak without creating a number of problems...but my message to the fans would be just make sure you are organised when you go to Brazil.

"You cannot sleep on the beach, firstly because it's winter...Make sure you organise your accommodation, you cannot just arrive with a backpack and start walking, there are no trains, you cannot drive (from one venue to another).

"Don't just turn up thinking it is in Germany, that it's easy to move around the country. In Germany, you could sleep in your car, you can't do that (in Brazil)."

Brazil's preparations have been plagued by delays in building stadiums and other infrastructure amid mounting public anger at the cost.

Critics say Brazilian organisers have made life more difficult than it should be by hosting the event in 12 cities around the country when eight would have been enough.

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Image: Brazil fans show their support
Photographs: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

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Worker killed in electrical accident at Brazil stadium

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An electrical accident at a World Cup stadium killed a worker in the Brazilian city of Cuiaba on Thursday, temporarily halting construction and adding to setbacks in the rushed preparations for the tournament.

Muhammad-Ali Maciel Afonso, 32, was the eighth worker to die at one of Brazil's twelve World Cup arenas. He was working for Etel Engenharia to install a communications network, according to a state government official and an executive at the company.

The 2014 World Cup, the first to be held in Brazil since 1950, has been beset by delays, cost overruns and broken promises. In addition to the late delivery of stadiums, three of which are still not ready, several key public transportation projects have been scaled back or abandoned altogether.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and Brazil's sports minister Aldo Rebelo expressed their condolences to Afonso's family and colleagues in statements.

The Arena Pantanal in the western city of Cuiaba is one of the most delayed stadiums being built for the tournament, which starts June 12.


Image: A construction worker looks out over the stadium
Photographs: Bruno Kelly/Reuters

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