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SBD Global/March 20, 2013/International Football

FIFA President Blatter Not Concerned With Pace Of World Cup Preparations

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is "unruffled by Brazil's stop-start preparations" for the 2014 World Cup, saying that "delays and hiccups are part and parcel of the run-up to the tournament," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. Brazil's preparations have been "dogged by delays to stadiums and other infrastructure, and deadlines have been repeatedly missed." Blatter said that he was not concerned. Blatter: "I would never measure organizing countries against the punctuality of Swiss trains" (REUTERS, 3/19). The AP wrote Brazil has delivered "only two of six stadiums so far" for the Confederations Cup in June. The iconic Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro has an April 27 completion deadline. Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said that he plans to join Blatter in touring the 12 World Cup host cities during his visit for the Confederations Cup in late June. Rebelo said officials were monitoring "very, very carefully'' the situation in Sao Paulo where stadium construction funding had not been released by a bank (AP, 3/19).
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