Blatter wants Brazil to hurry up for 2014

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Blatter wants Brazil to hurry up for 2014

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks about the 2014 Brazil FIFA World Cup during a press conference at the Geneva Press Club, in Geneva, Monday. [AP/YONHAP]

GENEVA - FIFA president Sepp Blatter warned Brazil on Monday that it needs to speed up preparations to host the 2014 World Cup.

“I would like to tell my Brazilian colleagues about the 2014 World Cup,” he told reporters. “It’s tomorrow. The Brazilians think it’s just the day after tomorrow.

“We are hoping for a little good faith; things are not advancing very quickly.”

Orlando Silva, Brazil’s sports minister, replied by inviting Blatter to the South American country to see for himself the work in progress.

“I’m convinced he’ll be reassured that Brazil will stage a very good World Cup,” Silva told a news conference in Sao Paulo.

“We have 10 of the 12 stadiums with work going full steam ahead. We’re confident the majority of the stadiums will be handed to FIFA within the deadline agreed with them,” Silva added.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) posted a FIFA-issued statement on its Web site after a meeting this month with the World Cup organizing committee in which Blatter praised its commitment to hosting the tournament.

Blatter on Monday compared Brazil’s preparations unfavorably with 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa’s at the same stage four years ago.

“If Brazil keeps going like this there will not be matches in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo at the Confederations Cup,” he said.

The Confederations Cup is held the year before the World Cup in the same country and is used as a dress rehearsal for the main stadiums.

Blatter added that because of discussions between Brazilian politicians it was not clear where this year’s draw for the qualifying competition, originally scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro in July, would be held.

Blatter also reiterated his belief that goal-line technology could be used in 2014 and said he would make an important announcement about the fight against corruption at the FIFA Congress in June where he stands for re-election.

Blatter faces a challenge from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammed Bin Hammam for the FIFA presidency.

“I will present something very special there [at the FIFA Congress in June] but I will not now disclose the contents - it is to fight corruption, all cheating and discrimination,” he said.

FIFA was rocked by a corruption scandal last year when two executive committee members were banned for offering to sell their votes in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting contest to undercover newspaper reporters.

Blatter rejected suggestions that FIFA should allow external investigations into its affairs.

“It would be like Switzerland asking France or Germany or Italy to vote for them when they elect the federal council,” he said.

Blatter, 75 and FIFA president since 1998, also dismissed suggestions he should make way for a younger man.

“Age is not a question of a number of years, it’s a question of what you are able to do,” he said. “It is the FIFA Congress which will decide whether I am too old or not.”

He also reflected on how FIFA had grown since he joined as a development officer 36 years ago.

“FIFA had a World Cup with 16 teams, no development program, no youth competition, no women’s competitions, nothing, just a World Cup every four years,” he said.

“There are 300 million active participants [in football] and if you count their parents and friends, that makes 1 billion people.”


Reuters

한글 관련 기사 [연합]
블래터 "브라질, 월드컵 준비 속도 높여야"

제프 블래터 국제축구연맹(FIFA) 회장은 28일 오는 2014년 월드컵 축구대회 주최국인 브라질이 경기장 건설 등 준비를 서둘러야 한다고 촉구했다.

블래터 회장은 이날 제네바에서 기자회견을 열고 월드컵에 앞서 오는 2013년 컨페더레이션스 컵 대회를 치를 리우 데 자네이루와 상파울루의 경기장 시설이 준비되지 않았다며 준비의 속도를 높여야 한다고 말했다.

블래터 회장은 "브라질 관계자들에게 2014년 월드컵은 바로 `내일'이라고 말해주고 싶다"며 "그런데 브라질 측에서는 `모레'라고 생각하고 있다"고 말했다.

그는 "월드컵 대회를 3년 남겨둔 시점을 놓고 (2010년 대회를 치른) 남아프리카공화국과 브라질을 비교하면, 브라질이 남아공보다 뒤처져 있다"며 "그래서는 안되는 일이지만, (늦은 것은) 사실이다"라고 말했다.

그는 "이대로라면 월드컵 대회의 예행연습으로서 1년 앞서 열리는 컨페더레이션스 컵 대회는 리우와 상파울루에서는 열리지 못할 것"이라며 "월드컵 경기장이 아직 준비가 안 됐다"고 지적했다.

그는 "브라질에서 (대회 준비에) 진전이 없다"며 "브라질이 해야 할 일은 준비위에서 좀 더 속도를 내는 것"이라고 덧붙였다.

축구황제 펠레는 지난 2월 "2014년 월드컵을 위한 인프라 공사가 제대로 진척되지 않고 있다"면서 "이대로 가면 전 세계의 이목이 쏠린 가운데 브라질이 창피를 당할 수 있다"고 경고했다.

한편 블래터 회장은 2014년 월드컵에서 정확한 골라인 판정을 위한 새로운 기술이 도입될 것이라고 밝히고, 오는 6월 열릴 FIFA 회장 선거 때 부패와 차별을 근절하기 위한 개혁방안을 제시할 것이라고 말했다.
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