Sepp Blatter and
minister pledged to mend
relations after the FIFA president
personally apologised for disparaging remarks made by a top
official about the country's slow progress in preparing for the
2014 World Cup.
Brazil's sports minister Aldo Rebelo spoke to Blatter on the
phone after the global football chief apologised in an open letter
for comments made by FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke.
Rebelo stressed Brazil's commitment to foster
"cooperation and harmony with FIFA in preparations for the
Cup " in a conciliatory statement issued after their
Blatter's written apology came one day after
Valcke sent a similar letter to Rebelo apologising for saying
Brazil's World Cup preparations were "not working" and that
organisers needed "a kick up the backside."
Valcke's remarks caused uproar in Brazil, prompting the
government to notify FIFA it would no longer accept the
Frenchman as the world football governing body's point person for
the 2014 World Cup.
Blatter's letter offered an "apology to all those who had
their honour and pride wounded, especially the Brazilian
government and President Dilma Rousseff."
He also asked to meet with Rousseff next week to personally
discuss the standoff - and progress in Brazil's World Cup
preparations - after a tour to Asia.
"We waste time over conflicts," Blatter wrote. "We must work
together. We have a common goal: to organise an extraordinary
World Cup in the country of football, the country of champions.
"Brazil deserves to host the World Cup and the whole world
is anxiously waiting for that to happen."
It was not clear if Rousseff would meet with Blatter next
week, when Valcke is also scheduled to visit Brazil to tour
construction sites in some World Cup host cities.
Valcke, who has irked Brazilian officials in the past,
claimed in his letter to Rebelo that translators misinterpreted
his words in his native French. But reporters who heard his
comments said he spoke in English.
Asked about Valcke's apology, Rebelo said he planned to
reply in writing in the coming days.
Brazil is struggling to prepare for the World Cup and its
curtain raiser, the 2013 Confederations Cup. Stadium
construction was slow to get started and costs have ballooned.
More worryingly, vital infrastructure projects such as hotels,
roads and airports are way behind schedule.
Blatter's letter was delivered just hours before a
congressional committee in Brazil finally agreed on the text of
a crucial bill setting legislation for the World Cup.
The bill, called the World Cup Law, will now go to a plenary
session in the lower house of Congress before going to the
Lawmakers have delayed passing the bill, and the government
has clashed with FIFA repeatedly over whether alcohol should be
sold inside stadiums and over which groups are entitled to
A few protesters unfurled anti-FIFA banners
as the debate took place.
Spurs miss out on Champions League again despite highest Premier League points tally
Champions closer to matching Real Madrid's La Liga record of 100 points with 2-1 win
AC Milan score twice in last six minutes to beat relegated Siena 2-1 to finish third
Carlo Ancelotti informs PSG officials that he wants to leave at the end of the season
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