FIFA slams Brazil`s World Cup progress

Moscow: FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke on Friday issued a scathing assessment of Brazil`s 2014 World Cup preparations, saying the future hosts still lacked stadia, airports and transportation.

"They have much still to deliver," Valcke said at the Inside World Football Moscow Forum, a major conference on the hosting of football events, in the Russian capital.

"We do not have the stadia, we don`t have airports, we don`t have a national transportation system in place."

Valcke emphasised that FIFA considers the awarding of a World Cup to a host country to be a final judgement. But his unusually blunt remarks came after criticism of Brazil`s preparations by FIFA president Sepp Blatter in March.

"We cannot have a stadium ready at the last minute... meaning that it will already be two months or two weeks prior to the World Cup," Valcke added.

He unfavourably compared Brazil`s preparations to the progress of Russia, which was only last year awarded the right to host the 2018 edition of the World Cup.

"The stadia are the most important things. We are more advanced in Russia even than we are in Brazil," said Valcke.

In March Blatter had already warned the Brazilian authorities, saying he was waiting for "a bit of effect" from the five-time World Cup winners "because it`s not moving forward, it`s not moving forward very fast".

"What they should do in Brazil is put a little bit more speed in the organisation," Blatter had said.

Bureau Report

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