OTTAWA May 4 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
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.
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
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)