Football: World Cup arenas will be ready on time, Brazilian minister says

Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo speaks during a press conference regarding to the Brazil 2014 Fifa World Cup football tournament and its preparations, in Sao Paulo, on Oct 28, 2013. All 12 host stadiums for next year's World Cup will be
Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo speaks during a press conference regarding to the Brazil 2014 Fifa World Cup football tournament and its preparations, in Sao Paulo, on Oct 28, 2013. All 12 host stadiums for next year's World Cup will be ready on schedule in December, Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said Monday. -- PHOTO: AFP

SAO PAULO (AFP) - All 12 host stadiums for next year's World Cup will be ready on schedule in December, Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said Monday.

"We are confident that we can deliver. We are not very late," he told a press conference here.

And he brushed aside doubts over whether the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, capital of the center-west state of Mato Grosso, can be completed by the end of the year.

He said he expected the Cuiaba stadium, which will host four World Cup games and is currently 85 per cent complete, to be delivered on time as agreed with football's world governing body Fifa .

Rebelo, meanwhile, said he did not believe the World Cup, which kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 12, would be marred by large-scale street protests such as those which rocked the country in June over sub-standard social services, endemic corruption and the high cost of staging the high-profile sporting event.

"It will be time to party rather than protest," he noted.

As to security concerns, he said:" We cannot underestimate any kind of threat." But he insisted security forces "will be trained" to deal with all eventualities.