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Brazil May Reduce Number of Cities Hosting 2014 World Cup, Bernardo Says

Brazil may reduce the number of cities hosting soccer games during the 2014 World Cup to six from 12, Planning Minister Paulo Bernardo said.

The country’s organizing committee is conducting an audit to examine the progress being made by the 12 host cities. The audit is due to be completed May 20.

“If people say they can’t meet the conditions that were agreed on, then we need to discuss and rethink, and consider other cities, or cut the number of cities,” Bernardo told reporters in Brasilia today.

The audit began after Jerome Valcke, secretary general of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, on May 5 criticized “incredible” construction delays and said that Brazil is “very late” in preparing for a tournament it was awarded in 2007.

In two of the host cities, Manaus and Natal, the demolition of old stadiums to build new ones hasn’t yet begun, according to the sports secretariats of Amazonas and Rio Grande do Norte states. In Salvador, where part of the cement stands at the Fonte Nova stadium collapsed in November 2007, killing seven people, construction is stalled because the state is waiting for environmental and demolition licenses, according to Bahia state’s sports secretariat.

To contact the reporters on this story: Carla Simoes in Brasilia Newsroom at csimoes1@bloomberg.net Matthew Bristow in Bogota Newsroom at mbristow5@bloomberg.net

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