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20 Mar 2012 11:56
Fifa president Sepp Blatter said secretary general Jérôme Valcke will remain in charge of 2014 World Cup preparations despite a recent dispute with Brazil’s government.
Blatter said on Monday that Valcke would retain all of his Fifa duties, including working with the Brazilian government to organise the tournament.
Valcke’s role had been in doubt after his harsh remarks about the country’s slow preparations ignited a public spat between the Brazilian government and football’s governing body 17 days ago.
After meeting with Brazil President Dilma Rousseff on Friday, Blatter said he needed more time to decide whether Valcke would remain Fifa’s representative to deal with the government.
“There is no problem between the Fifa president and the Fifa secretary general,” Blatter said in statement. “Jerome Valcke is in charge of all of his activities as secretary general, including the preparations for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.”
Some reports in the Brazilian media said that Fifa told the government that Valcke would be temporarily suspended with Blatter replacing him.
Not discussed in detail
According to Fifa’s statutes, only Blatter as president can propose the replacement or dismissal of the secretary general.
Blatter asked to meet with Rousseff in Brazil when apologising for Valcke’s remarks but said the issue was not discussed in detail with the Brazilian president.
He said the matter belonged to Fifa and that he would eventually decide what to do.
Valcke’s inspection visit to Brazil last week was cancelled until after Blatter met with Rousseff.
The Brazilian government officially accepted Valcke’s apology but officials still preferred to have someone else from Fifa work with the government.
Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo had labelled Valcke’s remarks on March 2 as “unacceptable, offensive and inappropriate”.
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