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Brazil’s recent spat with FIFA is adding uncertainty to the country’s 2014 World Cup preparations. Concerns are growing over lagging stadium projects and unsolved bottlenecks in infrastructure improvements. CCTV reporter Peter Koveos has more details on the problems facing the country’s plan to host the tournament.

The clock is ticking for the South American country’s officials as a team of 40 FIFA experts landed in Brazil on Tuesday to evaluate the progress in the host cities.

Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo speaks about the criticism over 2014 World Cup preparations during a news conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday March 3, 2012.Rebelo announced Saturday it will refuse to deal with with FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke following his “unacceptable” criticism over the country’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup. Rebelo called for FIFA to assign another official to work with the government. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

While FIFA officials may have apologized for their secretary-general’s harsh comments last week, Jerome Valcke’s words only marked a further escalation of a dispute that has simmered for years as stadiums, hotels, roads and other basic infrastructure for the 2014 Cup continues to run drastically behind schedule.

Brazil’s Former star Ronaldo, also a member of the Local Organizing Committee, says Valcke’s comments are harsh but true.

Ronaldo said, “It does not mean Valcke is wrong about his complaint, because Brazil made a commitment to deliver this World Cup law a long time ago, but now there are many things behind schedule.”

Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo (2nd R) and Pernambuco Governor Eduardo Campos (R) observe the site of the Arena Pernambuco that is being constructed to be one of the host stadiums for the 2014 World Cup in Recife March 7, 2012.

Brazil is struggling to get airports, trains, hotels and roads ready for the event and its curtain raiser, the 2013 Confederations Cup. The delays have ballooned costs and reduced the extent of the infrastructure projects that had been planned for the World Cup.

One Brazilian economist says the country is now fighting the clock.

Marcelo Neri, Brazilian economist and infrastructure expert, said, “This is a serious problem and Brazil’s infrastructure will have to improve very quickly, otherwise the problem will never get better, it will only get worse with time.”

The team of FIFA inspectors who visited Sao Paulo’s Itaquera stadium Tuesday, say they are glad to see quick progress in the work, which started a year behind schedule.

Despite the government’s repeated vows to deliver a flawless tournament, most of the host cities have failed to meet deadlines, and nobody knows if they will be accomplished on time.

A wide view showing the site of the ongoing construction of what will be the new soccer stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday March 6, 2012. The stadium, expected to seat as many as 65,000, will host the opening match of the World Cup in 2014 on June12, located in the Itaquera neighborhood. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

FIFA inspectors make a technical visit to the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on March 7, 2012. Beira Rio is undergoing renovation works for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014. (AFP Photo/Jefferson Bernardes)

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