RIO DE JANEIRO: Latest reports from Brazil say that FIFA secretary-general Valcke is recovering well from the kidney infection which forced him to miss a World Cup organisers’ board meeting in Rio on Thursday.
The 52-year-old Frenchman, FIFA’s 2014 progress-chaser-in-chief, was said to be “recovering well” at the Samaritano hospital to which he was admitted on Wednesday night.
Not quite healed yet, either, are differences of opinion between FIFA and Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo over the state of infrastructural preparations for both the World Cup and next year’s Confederations Cup.
Valcke is believed to think that FIFA may have to settle for four city venues next year while Rebelo has continued to insist that all six promised stadia will be ready.
Greatest concern centres on the Arena Pernambuco in Recife. Rebelo said: “There were problems in work, permits and a strike but the governor [Eduardo Campos] has already solved these issues or is solving them. I am confident that not only the stadium but the supported area will be ready.”
The other scheduled Confederation Cup venues are Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro.
FIFA has set a November 8 deadline for a definitive announcement for the Confederations Cup which is scheduled next year for June 15 to 30. The draw for the tournament takes place in Sao Paulo on December 1.
Separately, negotiations are continuing over World Cup ticket provision between FIFA and the Brazilian authorities who are demanding free entry for members of the country’s indigenous population and low income earners.
The initiative could apply only to matches in Manaus and Cuiaba whose indigenous populations are reportedly higher than other host cities.