No country further behind than Brazil, says angry Blatter

8 January 2014

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has criticized Brazil’s preparations for this year’s World Cup, saying that the country didn’t start preparations for the competition early enough.

In an interview with Swiss newspaper 24 Heures, reported by various media, Mr Blatter said that in his experience no country has ever been further behind.

"It is the latest country since I’ve been at FIFA, even though it is the only one which had so long – seven years – to prepare," he said.

When asked if the World Cup hosts realised the scale of work involved, Mr Blatter said: "No. Brazil has just found out what it means and has started work much too late."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter criticized Brazil’s preparations for this year’s World Cup (Wikimedia Commons)

Six of the 12 host stadia have failed to meet the 31 December deadline for completion set by Fifa. The delays have also affected work on hotels, airports and roads, reports UK newspaper, The Independent.

Preparations for the tournament suffered setbacks after two workers were killed at Sao Paulo’s Itaquera stadium, and a judge stopped work at a stadium in the Amazonian city of Manaus following another death.

However, Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, said her nation is confident it will host the "Cup of Cups."

"Everyone who comes to Brazil will be well received," Ms Rousseff said via the Twitter social-networking website. "The tourists will have the opportunity to meet a multicultural and hard-working country, a Brazil that is facing the challenge of ending poverty and generating opportunity to everyone."

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