FIFA concerned with the pace of preparations for the 2014 Brazil World Cup
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has expressed concern about the slow pace of preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and said he wanted the delays to be made up as soon as possible.
But Blatter - who is meeting top Brazilian officials next week to discuss progress - was also confident Brazil would be ready to host the 32-team tournament despite the challenges.
Brazil is struggling to build the infrastructure needed for the World Cup and the eight-team 2013 Confederations Cup curtain raiser. In March, FIFA general secretary said Brazil needed a kick up the backside to speed up the work.
Blatter apologised for the remarks by Jerome Valcke but still has some concerns about the pace of construction.
”Somewhere there are some delays and what we are doing now is to make sure that what has not been (done) in the past will be done as soon as possible and not later, Blatter told reporters.
For the time being we are a little bit concerned about some constructions. But you know, constructions, if you push them and to put a lot of energy behind, then you can be ready on time, he said after an Ottawa event to mark the 2015 women's soccer World Cup, which Canada is hosting.
Next week Blatter will hold two days of meetings in Zurich with Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and the local organizing committee.
The FIFA chief noted that South Africa had successfully held the 2010 World Cup despite widespread doubts ahead of time that it would be ready.
We are confident, because Brazil is not only a football nation but Brazil is also a very important economic power ... So I'm sure that they will do it,” he said.