Preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are well on track, according to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Blatter met with Brazil counterpart Dilma Rousseff on Friday, emerging from the discussions to describe himself as ‘very pleased’ with the outcome of the talks.
There have been claims that construction work on the selected tournament stadia was behind schedule and that planned infrastructural improvements within the host cities might not be completed in time for the kick-off.
Those reports led to FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke claiming that the organisers needed ‘a kick up the backside’, but Blatter is in no doubt that the World Cup is in good hands after sitting down with Rousseff in Brasilia.
“It was a very good meeting,” said Blatter. “We will work very hard together to achieve our clear and common joint goal: to deliver the best ever FIFA World Cup.”
“The international interest in attending Brazil 2014 is huge. As such we must ensure that the entire country is ready to accommodate both millions of fans, and stage an amazing event.”
“People will be coming from all over the world and we have a collective responsibility to them. I have full confidence and trust in President Dilma Rousseff and Brazil.”
Blatter added: “The idea now is the federal government works together with FIFA to strengthen these ties and that it is best not to wait so long for the next meeting, since the last meeting we had with President Dilma was last year.”
“President Dilma stated that all of the necessary guarantees for the World Cup will be delivered to FIFA. We were very pleased with the outcome of the meeting.”
Brazil last staged football’s biggest event back in 1950.