Blatter to meet Brazil leader over WCup concerns
FIFA President Sepp Blatter plans to meet with Brazil’s head of
state to discuss concerns over the country’s preparations for the
2014 World Cup.
FIFA officials have repeatedly said preparations for Brazil 2014
are behind schedule. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke has told
Brazilian lawmakers that the pace had to be stepped up, saying ”we
are late, we can’t lose a day.”
Blatter expressed his concerns on Saturday following a meeting
of FIFA’s Executive Committee on the sidelines of the 2011 Club
”The executive committee is worried about that,” Blatter said.
”I will myself take up the World Cup in a presidential level and
in the first or second month of next year I will go and meet the
head of state.”
Valcke reported on the status of preparations for the 2014 World
Cup during the Dec. 16-17 meetings in Tokyo and noted that the
general World Cup Bill, which comprises the necessary government
guarantees regarding the organization of the event, has yet to be
enacted by the relevant authorities.
”Clearly, we are concerned that we have not received the
confirmation of the general World Cup Bill,” Blatter said.
Blatter also said that Ricardo Teixeira, the 2014 World Cup
organizing committee president, has asked for a leave of absence
until the end of January.
”Mr. Teixeira has asked for a leave of absence until the end of
January so he is out of FIFA and the 2014 organizing committee
until the end of January,” Blatter said.
Blatter also reiterated his desire to publish a document naming
soccer officials who took millions of dollars in kickbacks from
World Cup broadcast deals.
The BBC has reported that the document implicates former FIFA
President Joao Havelange and Teixeira. Havelange resigned as an IOC
member earlier this month.
FIFA postponed the publication of the document because ”legal
measures taken” by a party involved in the 10-year-old ISL scandal
prevented it from releasing the court papers during the executive
committee meetings in Tokyo.
”The executive committee and myself would like to open the file
as quickly as possible,” Blatter said. ”FIFA needs to lay the ISL
issue to rest, it’s unfortunate we can’t open it now but I am
hoping the Swiss court will allow us to open the file in early
2012. We cannot go to the past, we can only clarify it.”
FIFA also announced the list of members of the Independent
Governance Committee, a committee aimed at cleaning up world
soccer’s governing body and headed by Basel University professor
The list has nine members including Sunil Gulati, president of
the U.S. Soccer Federation. Non-soccer members include Michael
Hershman, President and CEO of the Fairfax Group, and Peter
Goldsmith, who served as Attorney General in the United Kingdom
At an October executive committee meeting, Blatter said the
panel would consist of up to 18 people, half from soccer, half from
politics, law and civil society.
In other developments, FIFA decided that the 2013 and 2014
editions of the Club World Cup would be held in Morocco after the
2012 tournament in Japan.