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Mar 19, 2013

FIFA 'totally' trusts Brazil

ZURICH -- FIFA President Sepp Blatter believes 2014 World Cup host Brazil will have the stadiums and infrastructure ready despite construction delays.

So far, only two of six stadiums are ready for the Confederations Cup in June. The iconic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro has a deadline of April 27.

"It's all a question of trust and confidence," Blatter said Tuesday after a meeting of FIFA's World Cup organizing committee.

FIFA has faith in Brazilian soccer and government authorities, Blatter said.

"They will be ready because it is the World Cup and no one can afford not to be ready for the World Cup," he said.

After the committee session, the FIFA president and secretary general Jerome Valcke met with Brazil sports minister Aldo Rebelo. He plans to join Blatter in touring the 12 World Cup host cities during the FIFA president's visit for the Confederations Cup in late June.

"I am confident that we will meet the challenges and the promises that we have given," the minister said through a translator.

Rebelo said officials were monitoring "very, very carefully" the situation in Sao Paulo where stadium construction funding had not been released by a bank.

The FIFA committee agreed that the 32-team World Cup final draw would be staged in the afternoon of Dec. 6 at Costa do Sauipe in Bahia. The date and venue had been announced in September.

The panel accepted a proposal by Russian organizers of the 2018 World Cup that the global qualifying program draw should take place in St. Petersburg on July 24 or 25, 2015.

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