Brazil federation rejects Blatter’s WCup criticism
The Brazilian football federation rejected criticism from FIFA
President Sepp Blatter over delays in preparations for the 2014
World Cup, saying Tuesday that the country is on track to
successfully host the tournament.
Federation president Ricardo Teixeira said preparations are
going as planned and wants Blatter to personally visit the country
to see the improvements.
”Again, I would like to invite FIFA’s president to come to
Brazil to see the progress from up close,” Teixeira said in a
Teixeira said he was surprised to hear the criticism because
Blatter had lauded the preparations after a meeting with the local
organizing committee in Zurich earlier this month.
Blatter urged Brazil on Monday to speed up preparations. He said
Brazil’s project is ”not progressing very quickly” and even lags
behind South Africa, which fell behind with its construction
schedule for last year’s tournament.
Teixeira said there is no need to put pressure on local
authorities because construction work is going as scheduled.
Blatter claimed plans for World Cup stadiums are still in the
process of being discussed between city mayors and state governors
and run the risk of facing delays, but Teixeira dismissed such
”I’m not aware of any conflict between mayors and governors in
any of the 12 World Cup host cities,” the Brazilian official
Teixeira also dismissed Blatter’s worries regarding the ”slow
progress” in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, which could be left off
the program for the 2013 Confederations Cup.
”I affirm again that it was never announced that Maracana
(Stadium) would not be delivered on time,” he said. ”Regarding
the stadium in Sao Paulo, although the construction work hasn’t
started yet, we are working to solve the technical issues and we
have guarantees from everyone involved that the stadium will be
delivered as scheduled.”
Brazil Sports Minister Orlando Silva also downplayed Blatter’s
criticism, but acknowledged that the country would likely face
difficulties if some projects scheduled to begin this year end up
”Seventy percent of the urban mobility projects need to start
in 2011,” he said. ”It’s crucial for the success of the World Cup
that they get underway now.”