By Africa Reuters
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's top soccer official has hit back at criticism from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, saying there was harmony between the government and the 2014 World Cup tournament's organising committee.
"I'm unaware of any conflict between mayors and governors in any of the twelve 2014 World Cup venues," said Brazilian Football Confederation president Ricardo Teixeira, who is also head of the Local Organising Committee (COL).
"On the contrary, FIFA has seen for years the combined work of the public authorities with the Local Organising Committee and FIFA itself," he said in a statement posted on the CBF website (www.cbf.com.br).
Teixeira said Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff had shown her support "concerning the federal government's principal attributes (airports and urban transport)."
Blatter had been scathing of progress on the tournament on Monday, and said political squabbles were a principal cause of the delays, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, which is to host the final at the giant Maracana stadium, and Sao Paulo where work has not yet begun on a stadium to hold the opening match.
Teixeira said the Maracana would be ready within the deadline set by FIFA in 2013 in time for the Confederations Cup which serves as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup finals despite problems recently discovered in the upper tier that will have to be redone from scratch rather than simply restored.
He added that he had been given guarantees from the parties involved in building a new stadium in Sao Paulo that it would also been ready within the set time frame.
"It's not the job of the CBF to pressure governors, the less so when there's no reason to do so," Teixeira said before he invited Blatter to Brazil to see the progress of work.