Brazil sports minister to keep job: report
18 October 2013, 07:29
Brasilia, Brazil - Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo will keep his job at the request of President Dilma Rousseff to coordinate next year's World Cup, the G1 news website reported Thursday.
The report came just a day after Rebelo announced he was stepping down to stand as Sao Paulo state governor, despite a December deadline for all 12 World Cup venues to be ready ahead of the June meet.
Rousseff's office confirmed to AFP that the president and Rebelo had met, but declined to provide details.
Rebelo accepted Rousseff's request to stay on indefinitely and renounced any aspirations for elected office, according to G1.
The minister had said he would work through December to ensure the stadiums were ready by FIFA's deadline and insisted his departure would not affect organization of the tournament.
Rebelo, of the Communist Party, has played a key role in organizing the sporting jamboree -- the multibillion-dollar cost of which has sparked public protests in recent months.
"It would be very much to overestimate my function and role. This is the 20th World Cup -- the other 19 took place without my participation," he said.
But there have been lingering doubts that the giant country can revamp sagging infrastructure in time, including its overwhelmed airports.
FIFA, football's world governing body, said only last week that Brazil still "has work to do."
Brazil will hold presidential, general and state gubernatorial elections in October of next year.