SAO PAULO: Sepp Blatter has arrived in Sao Paulo ahead of FIFA Congress and the World Cup Opening Match and insisted that the football is his priority writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The world football federation’s president shrugged off the latest episode in the Qatar controversy and Brazil’s concern about street protests to preach the overriding significance of the game itself.

He said: “What we are waiting for, above all, is the kickoff in the Opening Match.”

Later this week Blatter will meet Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and local organising officials to discuss final details in preparations for the finals. FIFA is resigned to the fact that this will not be the World Cup on the ground which it had wanted when Brazil was awarded the finals in October 2007.