We will be ready for 2014

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Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has brushed aside concerns over delays in preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, insisting that all stadia would be ready in time for the tournament.

Practically all the works which were to have been carried out in the 12 venues across Brazil for the tournament have run into delays, with some struggling to meet FIFA construction deadlines. But Rousseff insisted in an interview with AFP: " We have stadia which are still being built and these must be ready by December 2013 to be in an extremely calm and comfortable situation. " Rousseff added: We (the government) together with the governors and the mayors of the cities of the World Cup are taking all necessary measures to ensure that this will happen. The presidents comments came after FIFA president Sepp Blatter in July 2011 declared that a new confidence had been established with Brazils organising committee regarding preparations for the FIFA World Cup. A few weeks earlier, in a speech at the opening of the draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Rounds on Saturday (30 July), Rousseff invited the world to get to know a different Brazil. " Those coming to the World Cup will get to know a Brazil beyond its soccer, its music and its popular festivals. They will get to know a better, better prepared Brazil, " she said. The president also mentioned the recent progress made by Brazil as a clear demonstration of its evolution. " We have much to be proud of, with a stable and growing economy. And we have seen 40m Brazilians enter a new middle class, " she added. The draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Rounds, held at the Marina da Gloria, in Rio de Janeiro, was opened by the president of FIFA, Joseph Blatter. Brazils minister for sport, Orlando Silva, and the Honorary World Cup Ambassador, Edson Arantes do Nascimento – PelÉ – also attended. The event included performances by Brazilian singers, such as Ivete Sangalo, Ivan Lins, and Ana Carolina. Ivete Sangalo was accompanied by the Heliopolis Symphony Orchestra. The groups were drawn for the qualifying rounds in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America, Central America and the Caribbean – the only exception being South America, which plays a round–robin format. Brazil, as host nation, does not have to qualify.

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