BRASILIA: Jerome Vakcke, the FIFA secretary-general who upset Brazil’s politicians last month with his blunt opinion of them, returns to the 2014 World Cup host next week for the first time since that war of words.
Frenchman Valcke, angry at delays over approval of the World Cup Law, had told journalists that the Brazilians “needed a kick up the backside.” He and FIFA president Sepp Blatter later apologised over the manner of the comment without retracting the critical aspect of long-delayed preparatory work.
FIFA has confirmed that Valcke will fly to Brazil next week to meet officials from the Brazilian Sebate and Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo to review progress. The Bill was finally approved by Congress but now threatens to become bogged down in the Senate with the controversial clause over permission of alcohol sales in stadia again in focus.
However, senators are insisting that they wanted Blatter to meet them next week, rather than Valcke. They have reportedly cancelled a conference session with FIFA’s representative and Rebelo while they await Blatter’s own response.
Sales of alcohol in sports arenas have been banned in Brazil since 2003 but the World Cup bill – which must be endorsed by the Senate before being signed off by President Dilma Rousseff – will also allow beer to be sold in stadiums during next year’s Confederations Cup.
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