FIFA Issues Apology To Brazil, Withdraws Controversial World Cup Publicity Material
FIFA performed an "embarrassing U-turn on Saturday and apologized, saying it had withdrawn publicity material for the World Cup in Brazil that poked fun at local customs," according to the AFP. FIFA removed material which "depicted Brazilians as unpunctual, impatient and even chaotic." Having "regularly complained to Brazil about the slow pace of construction of stadiums" for the World Cup, FIFA "felt moved" to add, "In Brazil, things are largely done last-minute." FIFA admitted that "its attempts at humor had backfired." FIFA's statement said, "The material was light-hearted and at no time was meant to criticize Brazil." FIFA's "advice" for visitors to the World Cup host had offered "10 tips for avoiding any cultural misunderstandings" (AFP, 3/23).