On Sunday night, Recife, Brazil hosted its first match of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup
The Spain vs. Uruguay game
took place amid talk of numerous infrastructural problems in the city of about 1.5 million. Chaotic traffic, insufficient public transportation, long lines, cracking roadways and a lack of quality training fields for the teams are combining to give Recife a reputation as the Brazilian city least capable of hosting the Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup.
Recife is a tropical city and the capital of the state of Pernambuco. It is located along the northern coast of Brazil and referred to as the Brazilian Venice because of its extensive waterways. Recife is a major tourist destination, with direct flights landing daily from across North America and Europe. The city is home to the Arena Pernambuco, a newly opened 46,000-seat stadium located in the suburbs.
The state government has acknowledged Recife's problems and vowed to increase the frequency of buses and subway service in preparation for the Italy vs. Japan match on Wednesday. On June 23, Recife will have its final opportunity to identify areas that need improvement when its hosts a Uruguay-Tahiti match.
FIFA is monitoring the situation as Recife prepares to welcome the world for four games during next year's World Cup.
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