Stung by criticism, Brazil to shun Fifa's Valcke
Brazil sports minister Aldo Rebelo said on Saturday his country would no longer recognise Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke as a spokesman after he slammed the country's faltering organisation of the 2014 World Cup.
"The government will no longer accept the secretary general as Fifa spokesman," Rebelo told a press conference a day after Valcke went so far as to suggest the organisers needed a "kick up the backside".
Fifa have for months expressed varying degrees of concern over the extent to which preparations are on track for the first World Cup in Brazil since 1950.
But Frenchman Valcke pulled no punches on Friday when he said that although there was no danger of Brazil losing the event, he believed progress was much too slow.
"I don't understand why things are not moving. The stadiums are not on schedule any more and why are a lot of things late?" asked Valcke.
"In 2014 we will have a World Cup. The concern is nothing is made or prepared to receive so many people because the world wants to go to Brazil.
"I am sorry to say but things are not working in Brazil. You expect more support -- there are these endless discussions about the World Cup bill. We should have received these documents signed by 2007 and we are in 2012.
"You have to push yourself, kick your arse and just deliver this World Cup and that is what we will do."
Valcke also suggested the priority in Brazil was to win the tournament rather than organise a good World Cup.