Pele worried about Brazil World Cup airport capacity

Sao Paulo, April 8: Football legend Pele fears Brazil’s airports will find it hard to cope with increased traffic during this year’s World Cup.

While media reports have focused on construction delays to the country’s 12 World Cup stadiums, Pele Monday said the state of airports is even more urgent, reports Xinhua.

“My biggest concern is the infrastructure – the airports,” Pele was quoted as saying by Estado de S.Paulo. “I returned recently (to Sao Paulo) and the airport was chaotic.”

The Brazilian government expect more than 600,000 tourists to visit Brazil during football’s signature tournament.

Brazil was awarded the World Cup hosting rights in 2007. But Brazilian officials have admitted the planned redevelopment of airports will not be completed in time for the June 12-July 13 event.

Meanwhile three stadiums – in Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Cuiaba – are still under construction despite earlier assurances they would be ready by December 2013.

“Unfortunately the organisation has been poor,” Pele said. “I was part of (World Cup) functions that took place four years ago so there was time to get things right. There is no reason to be in the current situation.”

The Brazilian government last month announced the country’s military airports will be used during the tournament to reduce congestion.

IANS