International football in brief: Blatter issues warning to Brazil

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The Independent Football

The Fifa president Sepp Blatter warned Brazil yesterday that they need to speed up their preparations to host the 2014 World Cup. "I would like to tell my Brazilian colleagues the World Cup is tomorrow, they think it's just the day after tomorrow," he said. "We are hoping for a little good faith, things are not advancing very quickly."

Brazil's sports minister Orlando Silva replied by inviting Blatter to the country to see the work going on for himself. "I'm convinced he'll be reassured," Silva said. "We have 10 of the 12 stadiums with work going full-steam ahead."

Lafferty and Hughes miss out

Northern Ireland will be without injured pair Kyle Lafferty and Aaron Hughes for tonight's Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia, with both players back with their clubs for treatment. Striker Lafferty and captain Hughes suffered their injuries in Friday's defeat to Serbia, with the Rangers man taken off at half-time having experienced stiffness in his knee. Hughes, the Fulham defender, played the full game despite dislocating his shoulder midway through the first half.

Gareth McAuley will lead the side in Hughes' place, in a match that could take Nigel Worthington's side into second in Group C behind Italy if they win.

Del Bosque calls game into doubt

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque claims that the pitch in Kaunas is not fit to stage their qualifier against Lithuania. "The pitch isn't for playing on, it's not in condition," he said after inspecting the surface. A final decision as to whether the Euro 2012 qualifier can go ahead will be made today.

Doyle sidelined for eight weeks

Kevin Doyle faces up to eight weeks out with a medial knee ligament injury. The Republic of Ireland and Wolves striker suffered the injury during the win over Macedonia on Saturday. Wolves have not given up hope of Doyle playing again this season. Ireland face Uruguay in a friendly in Dublin tonight.