FIFA President Urges Brazil to Speed Up 2014 World Cup Preparations

FIFA President Sepp Blatter (FILE)
FIFA President Sepp Blatter (FILE)

Football's world governing body (FIFA) president Sepp Blatter is urging Brazil to speed up its preparations for the 2014 World Cup, voicing concern about its slow progress.

Blatter told reporters in Geneva Monday that Brazil is behind compared to where South Africa was three years prior to the 2010 World Cup.  He also warned there might not be matches at Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo for the 2013 Confederations Cup, which acts as a test event for the main stadiums.

Work on almost all of the 12 World Cup venues in the country is behind schedule.

Blatter pointed out that the qualifying draw for FIFA's six confederations is scheduled in July.  Brazilian authorities still have not agreed on a host city for that event.

The 75-year-old Blatter is seeking for a fourth consecutive four-year term as FIFA president in June.  He faces a challenge from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed Bin Hamman.

Blatter also reiterated his belief that goalline technology could be used in 2014 and said he would make an important announcement about the fight against corruption at the FIFA Congress in June.

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