ZURICH/BRASILIA: Sepp Blatter will fly to Brazil to meet state President Dilma Rousseff on Friday for the summit meeting requested by the FIFA leader for frank talks about the looming crisis threatening the country’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup finals.
The offices both Blatter and Rousseff have confirmed the meeting which was set up after the war of words 10 days ago when FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke told the international media that Brazil needed “a kick up the backside.”
FIFA has grown increasingly concerned at the delays both in processing the essential World Cup Law through the parliamentary system and in the tardy state of infrastructural redevelopment, in particular of stadia and airports.
Brazil is the biggest country ever to host the World Cup and its success will depend largely on the transportation system and, in particular, internal flights and airport capacity and competence.
FIFA is also concerned that a number of the stadia selected to stage the Confederations Cup warm-up event next year may not be ready in time.
Blatter flies to Brazil in the wake of the resignation of Ricardo Teixeira as president of both the Brazilian football confederation and of the World Cup local organising authority. Teixeira’s departure will not materially affect the state of on-the-ground preparations but at least it removes a significant distraction.
The summit between Blatter and Rouseff will be attended by Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo.
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