Brazil had seven years to get ready for the World Cup, but it enters the final month of preparations with five key jobs yet to be done:
- Three stadiums are still under construction and some of the temporary structures needed for matches are delayed.
- It remains unclear if all cities will have time to organize the mandatory fan fests.
- The government acknowledges that communications inside stadiums won't be perfect.
- Unfinished airports remain a concern.
- Widespread threats of violent protests by Brazilians are causing security issues.
Don't worry, really
Brazilian officials guarantee everything will be fine. FIFA remains concerned. Here's why:
- Among the three stadiums under construction is the Itaquerao, where the opener between Brazil and Croatia will be played on June 12. There will be some 14,000 guests among the nearly 70,000 people in attendance, including many heads of state.
- In the northeastern city of Recife, local authorities still haven't found private partners to host the fan fest, which allows fans without tickets to watch matches for free on large screens in public areas. FIFA has threatened to sue the cities that don't organize the event.
Brazil was the sole candidate when it was selected as host in 2007, but it took a long time before any World Cup work began.
Authorities are scrambling in great part because it pushed to stage the tournament in 12 cities instead of the eight that FIFA wanted.
Brazil is expected to spend $11.7 billion on the World Cup, although the government says that long term the country could receive an economic boost of as much as $180 billion. The high costs, blamed in part by the late rush to get projects done, ignited a wave of public criticism from a population already tired of poor public services and widespread corruption.
Many of the protests during last year's Confederations Cup were aimed at FIFA, and more are expected next month.