FIFA to monitor Brazil progress

by PAA on Dec 20, 2011

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FIFA's top executive will visit Brazil every two months to keep the pressure on to speed up preparations for the 2014 World Cup.

Jerome Valcke, FIFA's secretary general, says "a lot of work" remains to be done, especially on transport infrastructure and airports.

Relations between FIFA and the Brazil government and organisers have been tense but Valcke says there is a new spirit of co-operation.

Valcke said in his monthly column on "2012 will be a fundamental year for FIFA and Brazil in the operational preparation for the two major football tournaments - the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

"There is still a lot of work waiting for all of us in particular on general infrastructure such as airports and transport to make sure that all fans and visitors will have a memorable experience.

"As the person at FIFA responsible for the delivery of the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup, it is essential that I also get a personal view on the status of preparations during my planned host city visits to take place every two months next year.

"Because we have no time to rest, the clock is ticking ever faster and the anticipation is rising for all of us."

As well as welcoming the appointment of former Brazil striker Ronaldo to the board of the organising committee, Valcke added: "We must bear in mind that when Euro 2012 and the Olympic Games are over, the world media spotlight will be on Brazil.

"The key for success will be in continuing our open and constant dialogue between the Brazilian authorities led by sports minister Aldo Rebelo as the man in charge of the FIFA World Cup in government and FIFA in the spirit of respect and co-operation which characterises our relations now."