Danny Jordaan: Brazil left things too late

2013-06-30 10:00

Former LOC chief says 2014 World Cup hosts have to speed up preparations.

SA Football Association (Safa) vice-president Danny Jordaan says Brazil is caught between a rock and hard place in its preparations for the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

Jordaan, who was the CEO of the 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC), is now an adviser to the world football governing body and Brazil ahead of the global sporting event.

Speaking from Brazil, where he is attending the Confederations Cup, Jordaan said Brazil’s major challenge was that it was about three months behind in its building of infrastructure, which should all be ready by December.

“I think they left it too late,” he said. “Now they have a problem that they need to speed up the building, which will then increase the cost while they are faced with protests by citizens who feel the cost is already too high.”

He said currently the cost was standing at $7 billion (R69 billion) as the South American hosts are building 12 stadiums. He expected this figure to go up.

South Africa built five new stadiums, plus one that had to undergo major refurbishments for the 2010 shindig. The total cost was R30 billion. However, Jordaan observed that Brazil was a unique soccer-mad country.

“On Wednesday, when they played Uruguay in the semifinal, there were 40 000 spectators inside the stadium screaming for the team while 40 000 protesters screamed for the country outside the stadium,” he observed.

He said the protests that were under way were to be expected, but dismissed talks of a Plan B outright.

“Such events present an opportunity for protesters to voice their concerns as there are TV crews from all over the world to capture them,” he said.

“But there is no need for a Plan B. They just have to make Plan A work.”

Jordaan will surely have some advise when he goes back to give a keynote address titled Football of the Future at the Instituto Sports Market at Porto Alegre on August 5.

He said today’s final between Brazil and Spain had eventually produced what experts had predicted for the 2009 showpiece in South Africa.

“With the galaxy of stars both countries have, a great football match should ensue,” he said. “But with just over 80 000 at the Maracana, a venue that every soccer player dreams to play at, Brazil might just have an edge.”

Jordaan said he had met former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who is now adviser to head coach Luis Felipe Scholari, who told him that they were happy with the work they had done in five months and were confident that they will win not only the Confed but the World Cup.

He said prayers were with ailing former president Nelson Mandela wherever they went.

“The challenges facing Brazil in the preparation and delivery of the Confed and the World Cup has allowed us to reflect on the role Madiba played in ensuring our success in sporting life.”

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