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Blatter: FIFA trusts Brazil to be ready

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he fully expects Brazil to be ready for the World Cup next year despite persistent issues.

Only two of the six stadiums have been completed and, with the Confederations Cup to take place in June, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke recently said: "We are certainly on a very tight schedule with a few of the stadia."

Upgrade work on Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium, which is due to host the finals of both the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, has been beset by delays and FIFA had earlier warned that it must be ready by the April 27 deadline.

Blatter, speaking after Tuesday's meeting of FIFA's World Cup organising committee, said: ''I'm sure that the five-time winners will present an outstanding competition in 2014. It's a question of trust and confidence – and, from FIFA's side, it's totally there.

"We still have more than a year to go and I am confident that, through its economic power and strength of will, Brazil will be ready and deliver a wonderful World Cup. They will be ready because it is the World Cup and no one can afford not to be ready for the World Cup."

The local government in Rio has insisted that the Maracana will be ready in time for the deadline, when the stadium is scheduled to host an exhibition match as a test event.

On Tuesday, Brazil's sport minister, Aldo Rebelo, said: "The Salvador stadium [Arena Fonte Nova] will be delivered next week. The other stadiums will also be delivered within the agreed timeframe, with the test events already scheduled.

"I am confident that we will meet all the challenges and fulfil the promises. This is a vital event for Brazil. We're delighted and honoured to be able to host it."

However, he said that work on the Maracana may have to resume after this summer's tournament.

"The work that is not completed in time for the Confederations Cup will be completed for the World Cup," he said.


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