BRASILIA: Ronaldo, Brazilian World Cup-winning striker in 2002 and now on the 2014 organising authority, has sided with FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke over the country’s preparations for the 2014 finals.
Valcke stirred up a weekend storm with the manner of his attack on Brazilian politicians’ interminable delays in approving the essential World Cup Law and in redeveloping its infrastructure.
But Ronaldo, while regretting the terms of Valcke’s declaration that the Brazilians needed a kicking, said: “Brazil agreed to pass this World Cup Law a long time ago and there are also delays in all the necessary work on our infrastructure. Still there is a great deal which is behind time.”
Ronaldo and 1994 world champion Bebeto have been brought in as ‘acceptable faces’ of the World Cup organising authority after a string of scandals drove long-time Brazilian football supremo Ricardo Teixeira out of the country and away from the job for lengthy spells.
The text of the World Cup Law, with its controversial clauses relating to ticket prices for students and pensioners and the permission of sales of alcohol within stadia, was finally approved on Tuesday by a parliamentary commission.
However it still needs approval by the Congress and the Senate before being signed off by President Dilma Rousseff whom FIFA president Sepp Blatter has urged to meet up in an emergency World Cup ‘summit’ next week.
Ronaldo said he did not believe there was any prospect of Brazil being replaced as 2014 host. This followed a claim from noted columnist Juca Kfouri that weekend criticisms by both Valcke and Blatter signalled “the beginning of the end for the Brazilian World Cup.”