18 Sep 2011

FIFA World Cup countdown begins

6:37 am on 18 September 2011

Brazil has begun its countdown for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. There are 1000 days to go before the tournament opens.

President Dilma Rousseff launched the event at a stadium in Belo Horizonte alongside football legend Pele, who is Brazil's World Cup Ambassador.

Ms Rousseff promised the new stadiums and other infrastructure required would be ready on time, despite major difficulties and delays.

The tournament will begin on 12 June 2014.

Before then, Brazil must build or upgrade 12 stadiums. Many of them are behind schedule and over budget.

New roads and airport terminals are also needed so that fans can move between the tournament's 12 venues.

The 2014 World Cup will be the first in South America since Argentina hosted the tournament in 1978, and the first in Brazil since 1950.

Rio de Janeiro is also due to host the Olympic Games in 2016.