president Sepp Blatter will meet Brazilian president Dilma
Rousseff on Friday to clear the air following the recent spat
over preparations for the 2014 World Cup, football's governing
body said on Tuesday.
Blatter will travel to Brasilia to try to patch up the
differences after FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke
infuriated the Brazilians by saying organisers needed "a kick up
the backside" over slow preparations for the tournament.
"The meeting, which will also be attended by Brazil sports
minister Aldo Rebelo, has been confirmed by the two entities
today," FIFA said in a statement.
Valcke's remarks caused uproar in Brazil, prompting the
government to notify FIFA it would no longer accept the
Frenchman as the governing body's point man for the World Cup.
Blatter sent a letter offering an "apology to all those who
had their honour and pride wounded, especially the Brazilian
government and President Dilma Rousseff."
Rebelo accepted the apology but declined to say if Brazil
would reconsider and agree to work with Valcke again.
Valcke has been forced to postpone a tour of construction
sites in World Cup host cities until after the meeting which is
likely to decide his role.
Brazil is struggling to prepare for the World Cup and its
curtain-raiser, the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Stadium construction was slow to get started, costs have
ballooned and vital infrastructure projects such as hotels,
roads and airports are way behind schedule.
Rousseff has made improving infrastructure in time for the
World Cup one of the main priorities of her government.
Valcke was widely credited with the success of the 2010
World Cup in South Africa, overseeing the preparations and
cajoling local organisers into action when they threatened to
fall behind schedule.
However, he has not been able to exert the same influence in
Brazil and has become exasperated at the country's Congress over
its delays in approving a so-called World Cup bill.
This would bring in temporary legislation which would
overturn a ban on the sale of alcohol in Brazilian stadiums and
may rule out discounted tickets for students, pensioners and
Brazil's preparations suffered a further setback on Monday
when Ricardo Teixeira, the head of the Brazilian Football
Confederation and local organising committee, resigned.
Teixeira blamed health problems although his decision came
following a string of corruption allegations. Sports minister
Orlando Silva also quit in October over corruption allegations.
Brazil, record five-times world champions, last hosted the
World Cup in 1950.
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