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Brazil tells Blatter not to worry about 2014 readiness

sports Updated: Mar 29, 2011 01:35 IST

Reuters
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Brazil reassured FIFA on Monday they will be ready to stage a good World Cup in 2014 after the world soccer governing body's president Sepp Blatter criticised delays in the country's preparations.

"I'm going to invite the president of FIFA to come to Brazil to learn the details of the country's preparations," Brazil's Sports minister Orlando Silva said.

"I'm convinced he'll be reassured that Brazil will stage a very good World Cup," he told a news conference in Sao Paulo.

Blatter told reporters earlier on Monday that "things are not advancing very quickly".

"I would like to tell my Brazilian colleagues about the 2014 World Cup, it's tomorrow, the Brazilians think it's just the day after tomorrow," Blatter said.

Silva responded: "We have 10 of the 12 stadiums with work going full steam ahead, we're confident the majority of the stadiums will be handed to FIFA within the deadline agreed with them.

"Sao Paulo deserves attention because it's the city which many want to hold the inauguration (of the tournament)," Silva said of Brazil's biggest metropolis which has been earmarked for the opening match.

Work on a new stadium for top club Corinthians in Sao Paulo to FIFA's World Cup specifications has not even begun.

"The lack of decision here in Sao Paulo created some insecurity at FIFA but the commitment of the prefect and the governor, of Corinthians and some big Brazilian firms reassures us that in Sao Paulo too we'll have good solutions," Silva said.

"I understand FIFA's worry and anxiety. We mustn't argue with FIFA, we must work to make sure we get as close (as possible) to complying with this time frame."

Blatter said comparisons with 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa were unfavourable to Brazil.

"If Brazil keeps going like this there will not be matches in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo at the Confederations Cup."

The Confederations Cup is held the year before the World Cup in the same country and is used as dress rehearsal for the main stadiums.

Brazil also has a great deal of work to improve its infrastructure, like transport and hotel accomodation, for the tournament and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro two years later.