San Salvador: FIFA president
Joseph Blatter has said that he was satisfied with the
preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
His optimism during a tour of Central America came just
two weeks after he said that Brazil was "not progressing very
quickly" and that the South Americans were lagging behind
where South Africa stood four years ago as it prepared for the
2010 World Cup.
Blatter is making his trip to Central America less than
two months before he faces a June 1 election challenge from
Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar for the FIFA presidency.
"We don`t have any problem because we have received
positive reports from all sides, especially in construction,"
Blatter told reporters yesterday.
He said construction was progressing well "not just for
stadiums but for airports and hotels in different regions."
Officials in Rio de Janeiro announced a week ago they
were hiring 3,500 extra workers to make sure renovations at
Rio`s famous Maracana stadium are completed in time for the
2013 Confederations Cup. The Confederations Cup is seen as a
test run for the World Cup.
Blatter also said delivering security at the World Cup
was the responsibility of Brazil organizers.
"The security problem is a problem for the (Brazilian)
authorities," he said "FIFA has no role in security."
Blatter said FIFA would beef up coaching and training
assistance to Central America and said the body planned to
help fund the construction of more football fields in El
Salvadorian authorities named a building for Blatter
yesterday in the capital.
Blatter was to travel to Belize yesterday followed by
stops in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
Central America is a member of CONCACAF, the regional
federation which also includes North America and the
Caribbean. The region has 38 of the 208 votes in FIFA.