Aldo Rebelo, one of the key figures behind the delivery of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has reversed his decision to stand down as Brazil’s Sports Minister in December and is now set to remain in the post through next year.
Speaking after a public hearing in the Committee of Tourism and Sports of the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia on Wednesday, Rebelo had said he would leave the position after ensuring the successful completion of the remaining six stadia for the World Cup. The Globo Esporte website said Rebelo was likely to run for the governor of Sao Paulo in elections next year.
Rebelo, a federal congressman with the Communist Party, assumed the position of Sports Minister in October 2011 after his predecessor Orlando Silva was forced to resign amid allegations of corruption. He has changed his decision to step down following an appeal from Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. “There was an appeal and he is giving up the chance to run and will instead stay on at the ministry,” a Sports Ministry official told Reuters on Thursday.
Key officials behind Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup this month maintained that the remaining venues will be delivered on time. The Associated Press reported that of the six stadia that need to be finished by December, five were less than 90% complete by September. Rebelo on Wednesday had denied the timing of his departure would impact on World Cup preparations. “It would be very wrong to overstate my role,” said Rebelo. “This will be the 20th World Cup. The other 19 happened without me having any involvement.”