Rio de Janeiro, Jan 27 Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has described the country’s World Cup preparations as a “joke” amid ongoing delays to key infrastructure projects.
Parreira lambasted the slow pace of construction work on new stadiums and airports in an interview with Radio CBN Sunday, reports Xinhua.
“We have missed a great opportunity to show a different side of Brazil,” said Parreira, now Brazil’s technical director and a key member of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s coaching staff.
“We wanted everything but we have only seen neglect. Look at the airports. There are going to be (construction) bid rounds starting in March, three months before the World Cup.
“It’s a joke. We were awarded the World Cup seven years ago and only now we’re calling tenders for the airports?”
Parreira insisted the likelihood of continued anti-government protests during the June 12-July 13 tournament would not affect Brazil’s players.
“In a certain way they are protected,” the 70-year-old said. “They know that if they start to worry and divide their focus, it’s going to be difficult.
“We are going to think about winning the World Cup. It’s the authorities’ job to worry about what’s happening off the field.”