Friday, April 15, 2011

Blatter satisfied with Brazil 2014 progress

April 14 - FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said that world football's governing body "do not have any problem" with progress being made by Brazil in preparation for the 2014 World Cup. 

Blatter is travelling through Central America ahead of the FIFA Presidential election on June 1, in which he faces the challenge of Mohamed Bin Hammam.
And his words contrast with those he used a fortnight ago when he criticised Brazilian preparations, saying that they were far behind where South Africa was at the same stage of organisation for the 2010 tournament.
Following Blatter's previous criticism, Brazil Football Confederation President Ricardo Teixeira said that progress was being made, yet that same week it was announced that there were problems with renovation work being carried out at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana.
And construction is still yet to start on stadiums in Natal and Sao Paulo, but the FIFA President told reporters that he had no concerns at present on any of these issues.
"We don't have any problem because we have received positive reports from all sides - especially in construction," he said.
He added that construction was progressing well "not just for stadiums but for airports and hotels in different regions."
Rio de Janeiro officials said last week that 3,500 extra workers are being hired to ensure renovations at the Maracana will be completed in time for the 2013 Confederations Cup, the traditional test run for the following year's World Cup.
Blatter added that FIFA would be helping to assist with coaching and training in Central America, including the construction of football fields in El Salvador.
The incumbent President is travelling through Belize and onto Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama as he looks to secure votes ahead of the June election, with the Central American region, part of CONCACAF, holding 38 of 208 votes in FIFA.
Perhaps even more crucially, its members are all likely to vote the same way in the election, making it a crucial battle ground between Blatter and his Qatari rival.

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