FIFA's general secretary Jerome Valcke warned Brazil anew Tuesday that it was running behind schedule in organizing the 2014 World Cup and urged it to speed up construction work.
"We are late, we cannot lose one more day," he told a parliamentary committee examining legislation on the World Cup. "Travelling in Brazil is not easy. To drive in Sao Paulo, to go from one end to the other is a nightmare. To leave the airport takes half a day, this cannot happen (during the tournament)," he added.
He urged authorities to redouble efforts to accelerate construction work so as to be able to welcome the hundreds of thousands of tourists that will flock to Brazil for the World Cup.
FIFA has constantly expressed concern over progress being made at the country's 12 World Cup venues. In mid-September, the Brazilian government gave assurances that the arenas were on schedule in construction or renovation
and will be ready by December 2012. But the government also admitted that work had not started in five of 13 airports which will welcome millions of tourists.
Valcke conceded that FIFA was not keen on Brazil's plans to charge cheaper World Cup ticket prices for Brazilians over the age of 60 and students. "We do not want to interfere with (Brazilian) legislation. We want to see which articles from these laws can be applied to the World Cup," he said, adding, FIFA accepts half price for seniors, but proposes a minimum entrance fee of $25 for students.
Spurs deny Olympic stadium 'spy' claim
London: English Premier League side Tottenham on Tuesday denied claims they carried out an extensive surveillance operation during their unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Olympic stadium that was eventually handed to West Ham.
Margaret Ford, head of the Olympic Park Legacy Board, the organisation which voted on the future of the stadium, had earlier claimed all 14 members of the board were spied on by Spurs.
"The club did not undertake, instruct or engage any party to conduct surveillance on any member of the OPLC Committee and we consider the making of this baseless accusation to be wholly inappropriate," the club said.