A13-mile light rail system that was supposed to play a key role in transporting fans in the World Cup city of Cuiaba in the western state of Mato Grosso also apparently won't be ready until months after the last soccer ball is kicked.
And plans to renovate a number of Brazilian airports before hundreds of thousands of World Cup fans descend on Brazil are still plans in many cases. That will complicate expeditiously getting fans from World Cup city to another in a continent-sized country with a spotty national road system.
Brazil's Minister of Transports Cesar Borges recently said he expects renovations at five airports to be completed or be near completion in 2016 when Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympic Games. To handle World Cup fans, he said flights into and out of host cities would be increased.
Many of those fans will be from the United States. So far, about 85,000 tickets have been bought by fans in the U.S. -- more than from any other country besides Brazil, said Liliana Ayalde, U.S. ambassador to Brazil.
Ayalde, who's monitoring the construction, told the Miami Herald that she believes Brazil will be ready.
"We're watching it but we're observers on this," Ayalde said. "There is a concern but at the end, the Brazilians will get it done. FIFA is on top of them."
Protests are also expected to be part of the landscape during the month-long soccer fest. That's prompted Brazil to rework its security plan, which now includes a special police battalion tasked with controlling violent demonstrations during the World Cup and other large events.
A 10,000-strong elite federal security force also will help control demonstrations.
Andrei Rodrigues, special secretary for safety and security of major events in the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, said that in the wake of the protests, intelligence activities had been stepped up.
"These intelligence activities already exist within each state, but the Ministry of Justice is intensifying this process with a focus on preventing violence in the case of demonstrations,'' he said.
FIFA's Blatter said he's an optimist, so he doesn't think the social protests will have too much impact on the World Cup. "I'm not worried. But we know that there will be more demonstrations, protests,'' he said.
Rio trash collector Paulo Roberto Barros says police sometimes uncover one area to cover another -- a phenomenon he's recently witnessed in the Lapa entertainment district, which is frequented by tourists. After several high-profile crimes in Lapa, he said, the police presence has picked up -- even as drug trafficking wars continue in poor neighborhoods on the fringes of the city.
Still, Barros said Brazil has the ability to come out on top during the World Cup. "This is a marvelous country,'' he said. "Did you see our New Year's celebration?" On New Year's Eve, an estimated 2.3 million people converged on Copacabana Beach for an extravaganza that lit up the sky with 24 tons of fireworks.
"The Brazilian people get excited about hosting other people," Barros said. "There will be nothing grave here.''
Alan Gandelman, a financial executive who lives just outside Rio in Barra da Tijuca, said he expects "Brazil will deliver -- some how.
No stadium is main reason for one location, but authorities have decided to delay major airport renovations for another city until after the World Cup, opting for an improvised tent terminal.
SITA is working with CISCEA in its drive to upgrade Brazil's air traffic management technology. The project began in December 2013 and is progressing as planned.