Blatter: FIFA 'totally' trusts WCup host Brazil
ZURICH (AP) -FIFA "totally'' trusts that Brazil will have stadiums and infrastructure ready for the 2014 World Cup, Sepp Blatter said Tuesday.
Despite ongoing delays in preparations, Blatter said after a meeting of FIFA's World Cup organizing committee: "Don't be afraid.''
Brazil has delivered only two of six stadiums so far for the Confederations Cup in June. The iconic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro has been given an April 27 completion deadline.
"It's all a question of trust and confidence'' and FIFA has faith in Brazilian football and government authorities, Blatter said. "They will be ready because it is the World Cup and no one can afford not to be ready for the World Cup.''
After the committee session, the FIFA president and secretary general Jerome Valcke met with Brazil sports minister Aldo Rebelo.
Rebelo said he will join Blatter in touring the 12 World Cup host cities during his visit for the Confederations Cup in late June.
"I am confident that we will meet the challenges and the promises that we have given,'' the minister said through a translator.
Rebelo said officials were monitoring "very, very carefully'' the situation in Sao Paulo where stadium construction funding had not been released by a bank.
The FIFA committee agreed that the 32-team World Cup final draw would be staged at 1 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), on Dec. 6 at Costa do Sauipe in Bahia. The date and venue had been announced last September.
The panel accepted a proposal by Russian organizers of the 2018 World Cup that the global qualifying program draw should take place in St. Petersburg on July 24 or 25, 2015.
Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday: Daniela Pestova 2003
SI Now: Scott Foley on "Scandal" and being aced by a tennis great