Blatter Talks Up Brazil 2014 Preparations

July 28, 2011

Ahead of Saturday’s draw for the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying groups in Brazil, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has declared that he is confident in the ability of Brazil’s organising committee to succeed with preparations for the 2014 World Cup tournament.

FIFA confirmed that the tournament would begin on June 12 with the final set for July 13.

Blatter’s comments come a month after FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke delivered a scathing attack on Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup, insisting that “there is a lot of work to deliver”.

Blatter, speaking at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, said: “The Government, the minister of sport and the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, are all confident and we at FIFA are also confident and we have the trust that this World Cup will be a success. It is a country not only of football but of happiness, but the reality is that there is still some work to be done. But I am sure, with trust and confidence, Brazil and FIFA together will deliver an exceptional World Cup in 2014.”

Blatter also denied accusations from Mohamed bin Hammam that he ran FIFA like a dictatorship, but refused to be drawn upon the ongoing corruption case involving the Qatari.

Blatter responded: “I am not alone, I am not a dictator as has been said, I am not alone, I work with my executive committee, with my administration, and with a lot of advisors. They know what it means to have transparency on one side, and anti-corruption on the other side. Do not forget that in FIFA we have 300 million people who work directly in football and in 300 million you cannot have only good people. But I will not make any comments on the decisions of the Ethics Committee, and the follow-up by the media, and I ask you to understand my situation and let FIFA work in compliance with the strong demand of the FIFA Congress to go forward.”