4 Mar 2012

Misgivings about preparations for 2014 World Cup

5:44 am on 4 March 2012

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has expressed misgivings about Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup.

He said the construction of stadiums, transport infrastructure and hotels for fans was behind schedule.

Valcke said that the organisers needed ''a kick in the backside'' and that Brazil appeared to be more concerned about winning the World Cup than organising it.

During a visit to London, Valcke said:

''I don't understand why things are not moving.''

The BBC reports he also expressed frustration at delays in approving a law setting out a regulatory framework for the World Cup.

A World Cup bill - currently being considered by the Brazilian Congress - would lift a ban on alcohol sales in stadiums and limit discount ticket sales to students and pensioners.

But it is opposed by lawmakers who say it gives FIFA too much power, as well as those who are against alcohol sales in stadiums.

In response, Brazil said it will no longer deal with Valcke.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo insisted that FIFA appoint someone else to work with Brazil on the competition.

The 2014 World Cup will be the first in South America since Argentina hosted the tournament in 1978, and the first in Brazil since 1950.