Fifa blasts Brazil's 2014 World Cup plans
London, March 3, 2012
Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke made a scathing attack on Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup, saying "not a lot is moving" and organisers needed "a kick up the backside".
Valcke, who has continually raised concerns about the tournament, said time was running out and there was no "Plan B" in place.
However, Brazil's sports minister Aldo Rebelo hit back, telling reporters in Brazil that his priority was for native Indians and low-income families to be able to go to matches, while Fifa wanted to make a profit.
Soccer's ruling body is particularly concerned about transport and accommodation issues and the sluggish movement through Brazilian bureaucracy of World Cup laws relating to the sale of alcohol is also worrying Fifa.
"I don't understand why things are not moving," Valcke told reporters. "The stadiums are not on schedule any longer - and why are a lot of things late?
"The concern is nothing is made or prepared to receive so many people. I am sorry to say but things are not working in Brazil.
"You expect more support," added Valcke who is in England for the annual meeting of the International Football Association Board, FIFA's law-making body.
"We should have received these documents signed by 2007 and we are in 2012. You have to push yourself, get a kick up the backside and just deliver this World Cup."
Brazil was awarded the World Cup in 2007 although the decision had been on the cards since 2003 when the other nine South American federations agreed to support the country as their only candidate. That decision was taken after the tournament had been ear-marked for the South America under Fifa's short-lived rotation system.
Valcke said the tournament would go ahead but warned the fans could suffer. "There are not enough hotels," he added.
"You have more than enough in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro but if you think about Manaus you need more. "Let's say in Salvador you have England v Holland and you have 12 percent of the stadium with English fans and 12 percent Dutch - that's 24 percent of 60,000 fans. Where are they all going to stay?
"The city is nice but the way to get to the stadium and all the organisation of transportation has to be improved."
Fifa had initially planned to base teams in just one part of Brazil to minimise travel but organisers explained matches had to be spread across the country. Valcke said that made for extra demands. - Reuters