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FIFA Says Brazil Needs To Look At More Flights For World Cup

posted 22 Aug 2013, 11:30 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 22 Aug 2013, 11:31 ]

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke says that additional flights between host cities is an issue that needs to be addressed after meeting with the 2014 World Cup's local organizing committee in Brazil on Thursday (August 22).

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (REUTERS) -  FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Thursday (August 22) that Brazil should look at adding flights between host cities during the 2014 World Cup.

Valcke's remarks came after a board meeting with Brazil's Local Organizing Committee in Rio de Janeiro.

The meeting comes after Valcke spent a couple days visiting three of the six unfinished stadiums that will be used in Brazil's hosting of the 32-nation soccer tournament which occurs once every four years.

Valcke and his delegation first visited Sao Paulo's Itaquerao stadium, which although previously plagued with delays, is reportedly on track to be finished in time.

Itaquerao will host the opening match of the upcoming World Cup on June 12.

Besides visiting the stadiums that are still under construction, Valcke and the Local Organising Committee discussed transportation issues during their board meeting.

Because of the extreme distances between some host cities, Brazil hosting a smoothly-run World Cup will depend on air travel efficiency.

Valcke said that looking at more flights was vital.

"Air transport during the World Cup, considering the need to discuss and to look at additional flights between the host cities, not to have to go all the way through either Sao Paulo or Rio. To look at maybe additional flights between Rio and the cities where matches will be played on match days. And a long story short we will be sure that we will have a smooth operations when it's about flying inBrazil during the World Cup," Valcke said.

With an estimated 3 million spectators flocking to 12 stadiums in a dozen cities across Brazil - more than half a million of them foreign visitors - the 64-game World Cup will be a major logistical challenge for Brazil.

Delays in upgrading airports and urban transport could cause a logistical nightmare with so many soccer fans attending games. Projects to add bus lanes, trams and monorails in BrasiliaFortaleza,ManausSalvador and Sao Paulo will not be ready in time, according to the government agency that audits public spending.

The country was chosen to organise the 2014 finals in 2007 when it was South America's sole candidate at a time when the tournament was rotated around FIFA's continental confederations, a system that has ended.

Tickets for the 2014 World Cup officially went on sale on Tuesday (August 20).