Brazil needs 'kick up the arse' says Fifa secretary amid warnings over 2014 World Cup preparations

 

Serious concerns about Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup have been expressed by FIFA raising the prospect of transport and accommodation chaos for fans.

FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke admitted England fans could face major problems if the team qualifies, and said "not a lot is moving" in Brazil and that organisers need a "kick up the arse".

Valcke, in England for the International FA Board, said: "I don't understand why things are not moving. The stadiums are not any more on schedule and why are a lot of things late?

"In 2014 we will have a World Cup. The concern is nothing is made or prepared to receive so many people because the world wants to go to Brazil.

"I am sorry to say but things are not working in Brazil. You expect more support - there are these endless discussions about the World Cup bill. We should have received these documents signed by 2007 and we are in 2012.

"You have to push yourself, kick your arse and just deliver this World Cup and that is what we will do."

Valcke said there was "no plan B" for an alternative host and that the tournament would go ahead but warned the fans could suffer.

He added: "You don't have enough hotels everywhere. You have more than enough in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but if you think about Manaus you need more.

"Let's say in Salvador you have England versus Holland and you have 12% of the stadium English fans and 12% Holland - that's 24% of 60,000 fans.

"The city is nice, but the way to go to the stadium and all the organisation of transportation has to be improved."

FIFA had initially planned to base teams in just one part of the country to minimise travel but tournaments organisers insisted that their matches had to be spread across Brazil, and Valcke said that made for extra demands.

He said: "We made the decision to move the teams and it means we were criticised if you follow this team you will have to fly 8,000 km.

"We did it at the request of Brazil to make sure there was not part of Brazil with England and the rest of Brazil without England if England qualify.

"Having supported the decision we have to ensure that the fans and the media - not the teams because they have their own planes - will be able to follow the team."

Valcke suggested the priority in Brazil was to win the tournament rather than organising a good World Cup.

Meanwhile, Valcke hit back at the European Clubs' Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for boycotting talks with FIFA - and claimed the row is over World Cup cash and not the international calendar.

Valcke said the confederations had already reached a broad consensus over nine 'double-headers' of international games over two years.

He said; "We have finalised a kind of gentlemen's agreement with the six confederations. Suddenly there is the statement from Rummenigge talking about the international calendar. It's wrong. The issue we have is not about that.

"The issue is about the compensation and what the clubs want to receive from the World Cup.

"We have a valid agreement with the ECA, FIFA and UEFA covering until 2014. Now the ECA say they want more money for 2014 and we say 'no, we have a current agreement'.

"It's true that the clubs are releasing the players for the World Cup but we have agreed to give them 70million US dollars for 2014. We gave 40million for 2010.

"It seems that is not enough. On top of that we pay 30million a year for insurance [for players on international duty]. We can discuss for 2018 and 2022 but for 2014 we have an agreement."

PA

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