Fifa frets at Brazil’s World Cup preparations

Fifa has expressed concern over the slow pace of Brazil’s preparations for hosting the 2014 World Cup.

Speaking on Friday at the World Football Forum in Moscow, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke lamented that Brazil put more value into winning the hosting rights than organising the event.

He said “we don’t have stadiums, we don’t have airports” and it was looking increasingly likely that some facilities, including Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium, would only be ready with a few weeks to spare.

It was Valcke’s first public appearance since Fifa exonerated him of wrongoing for saying in an email to scandal-tainted vice-president Jack Warner that Qatar had “bought” the 2022 World Cup hosting rights.

Warner had released segments of an email in which Valcke indicated he believed Qatar had “bought” the rights.

However Valcke, who had earlier confirmed the authenticity of the email, said he had been referring to the financial resources used by Qatar’s bid team in successfully winning the race for the tournament. – Sapa-AP, AFP

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