FIFA frets over pace of Brazil World Cup building work

OTTAWA Sat May 5, 2012 3:58am IST

FIFA President Sepp Blatter attends a news conference in Rabat April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

FIFA President Sepp Blatter attends a news conference in Rabat April 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Election 2014

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

OTTAWA (Reuters) - 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's 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, speaking in English.

"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 footballing nation but Brazil is also a very important economic power ... So I'm sure that they will do it," he said.

GOAL-LINE TECHNOLOGY

Blatter also reiterated that he wanted goal-line technology to be used at the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

FIFA is currently testing two systems designed to determine whether a ball has fully crossed the line or not.

World soccer's governing body was embarrassed during the 2010 World Cup when a shot by England's Frank Lampard against Germany crossed the line but no goal was given.

"I can tell you FIFA in the World Cup 2014, and therefore already in our Confederations Cup in 2013, we will use this system. We cannot repeat the ... same situation we have witnessed in the match between England and Germany," Blatter said.

But he ruled out using any other kind of technology in the game. Some are calling for video replays to be used in a bid to eradicate officiating errors.

"Otherwise the game will lose its human face and there will be no more discussion if everything is perfect. Our game is not perfect and that's why it is ... so popular," he said.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Remembering Ayrton Senna

Handwritten notes and flags left by fans are pictured near the memorial statue of Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna at the race track in Imola April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofal

Senna's simple grave a magnet for fans 20 years on

Ayrton Senna is as discreet in death as he was lively in life. The last resting place of Brazil's most charismatic Formula One champion is marked by a brass plaque on a circular lawn, surrounded by almost identical plaques laid into the ground.There is no headstone and just a handful of flowers in plastic pots.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Overwhelmed Moyes

Overwhelmed Moyes

Moyes left all at sea by scale of United job, says former coach.  Full Article 

Comeback Event

Comeback Event

Michael Phelps beaten in first comeback final.  Full Article 

Club For Country

Club For Country

Blatter wants to revive 6+5 proposal.  Full Article 

Europa League

Europa League

Benfica and Sevilla secure Europa League wins.  Full Article 

Fatherhood Looming

Fatherhood Looming

Novak Djokovic set to become a dad.  Full Article 

Premier League

Premier League

Liverpool seek to land knockout blow on Chelsea.  Full Article 

La Liga

La Liga

No rest for weary Atletico as Valencia trip looms.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage