Brazil ruled out any
further dealing with FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke on
Saturday after he said the country needed a "kick up the
backside" to be ready in time to host the 2014 World Cup.
Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo told a news conference that
Valcke's words on Friday had been "offensive" and
"The government will no longer accept... [Valcke] as an
interlocutor," Rebelo said. "The FIFA secretary's
declarations... make it difficult to have an environment of
cooperation and understanding."
His comments marked a further escalation of a dispute with
FIFA that has simmered for years as several Brazilian stadiums,
hotels, roads and other basic infrastructure for the 2014 Cup
run badly behind schedule.
Valcke, who was due to visit Brazil in coming days, had said
"not a lot is moving" in the country's preparations. He
dismissed Rebelo's reaction as 'puerile'.
"Why doesn't he deal with the issue?," he replied when
informed of the comments during a news conference in England
where he was attending the annual meeting of FIFA's
International Football Association Board.
"I'm fine. If that's the problem because nothing has
happened over the five years the result of one remark I made,
"One comment saying things are not working well, and I for
once say exactly what is happening in Brazil. If the result is
they don't want to talk to me any more, I'm not the guy they
want to work with - that's a bit puerile."
Stadiums in smaller Brazilian cities such as Porto Alegre
and Cuiaba are notably behind schedule.
Brazil is experiencing skilled labour shortages due to its
booming economy, which has made construction difficult. A lack
of financial guarantees and constant legal disputes have also
often caused building to be put on hold.
Brazil's Congress has angered FIFA by dragging its feet in
passing laws relating to the sale of alcohol at the games, as
well as which groups will receive discounted tickets.
Rebelo said in separate comments on Friday that Brazil's
government still wants native Indians and low-income families to
be able to afford the games, accusing FIFA of wanting only to
make a profit.
Making matters more complex, the disputes have come at a
time of turmoil for Brazilian football. The head of the country's
football confederation, Ricardo Teixeira, faces corruption
allegations and constant rumors that he may be forced out.
The stakes for Brazil are enormous. President Dilma Rousseff
has made public-works projects for the Cup a personal priority,
and Olympic officials are also watching Brazil's progress
closely ahead of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Valcke said Brazil should have passed the World Cup Bill in
2007 as part of guarantees given by the government for being
awarded the tournament.
"We have compromised on a number of things such as ticket
price discounts for elderly people and a number of things on the
wording of these guarantees but some are key," he said.
"There is no way we cannot receive a guarantee on security
because action against terrorism is a responsibility of the
state: We have no leverage on this so this World Cup Bill has to
"The question is also 'what' it will be: the text is changed
every day, every minute. I don't know when the next meeting will
take place but it has to finish. The World Cup Bill has an
impact across all of the Brazilian federal states. If we don't
get a Bill? That's not an option," he added.
On Friday he had said he was sorry to report that "things
are not working in Brazil.
"You expect more support. You have to push yourself, get a
kick up the backside and just deliver this World Cup," he added.
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010