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Brazil to invest $3B on airports for 2014 WCup

July 20th, 2010

Rio de Janeiro international Airport

The Brazilian government approved on Monday nearly $3 billion in funding to renovate and expand its airports ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

The government also guaranteed investments of about $400 million in its ports, hoping to make sure the country is ready to host soccer’s biggest tournament.

Authorities signed a document Monday securing the investments and creating a timetable for work related to transportation and stadium construction, two of the areas receiving most of the criticism from FIFA because of delays.

Government officials had also expressed concerns with the country’s preparations, but Brazil president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said everything will be ready on time.

“Things are happening very quickly,” he said.

The document allows Brazil’s civil aviation agency to accelerate work to renovate the 13 airports expected to be used by fans and tourists in the 12 host cities that are spread across Brazil, a large country that is currently without the transportation infrastructure needed to host the tournament.

“Now we have the investments for some of the sensitive areas such as the airports,” Brazil Sports Minister Orlando Silva said. “We expect 600,000 international visitors and other 3 million Brazilians (traveling).”

The investments approved Monday will also help Rio de Janeiro host the 2016 Olympics.

A recent government study said Brazil will invest a total of $18 billion in infrastructure in the next few years.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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