Brazil and FIFA in war of words over preparations for 2014 World Cup (UPDATED)

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The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is little more than two years away, but the action surrounding the event has reached a fever pitch as a war of words between FIFA and the Brazilian government has cast an ominous tone around World Cup preparations.

Last Friday, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was quoted as saying Brazilian preparations for the 2014 World Cup are moving too slowly and that the nation needed to pick things up.

That didn't go over well with the Brazilian government, which on Monday sent a letter to FIFA stating it would no longer deal with Valcke.

The exchange comes just as a Brazilian congressional commission is to vote on a key bill to regulate the World Cup, one which would pave the way for sale of alcohol at World Cup matches (alcohol is prohibited from being sold at Brazilian soccer stadiums).

The dust-up should blow over, but if it doesn't, and if the war of words leads to the key congressional bill being defeated, we could be in for a messy situation between FIFA and Brazil Just 27 months before the 2014 World Cup kicks off.

While we aren't quite at the point of talking about moving the 2014 World Cup, the Brazil situation is one worth monitoring. That said, as slow as Brazil's preparations are, we shouldn't assume the tournament is in any danger. We need only look at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa for a tournament that looked in real danger before it was ultimately run smoothly.

(UPDATED) Jerome Valcke has apologized for his comments, blaming a bad translation of his comments from French to Portuguese.

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53 Responses to Brazil and FIFA in war of words over preparations for 2014 World Cup (UPDATED)

  1. Michael Cardoso says:

    If FIFA comes the US Soccer, hat in hand, for us to step in and host the WC….they should tell them where to go.

  2. RLW2020 says:

    they don’t sell beer at stadiums in Brazil?? really? never would have guessed that was an issue.

  3. Jon Maisano says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say Brazil knows how to organize and soccer event. Remember this is a country that considers the 1950 cup loss a national tragedy.

  4. Tyler says:

    Or we could host it so we can see another world cup in our backyard lol. We are contingency plan número uno every cup. I bet FIFA dangles it over the head of the host country: “Dont eff up or we’ll take this thing to the US”.

  5. Michael Cardoso says:

    After screwing us out of the 2022 WC, even though we met all the criteria they prescribed…just to give it to Qatar under dubious circumstances, I stand by my comment.

  6. george3000 says:

    Though it would be amazing to have the WC again, I wouldn’t want it under those circumstances. Brazil as the WC host just sounds like it is going to be a fun time – there aren’t too many other venues (if any) that sound more exciting.

  7. CSD says:

    “…the Brazil situation is one worth monitoring.”

    No, it really isn’t. But the media will because impending doom for major sporting events always presents an angle to write about. At this point most folks have forgotten about the endless rubbish that was said about South Africa’s failing efforts and the doom that was going to befall that World Cup.

    Carry on with the mindless dribble. Oh no I am worried I hope the World Cup doesn’t get cancelled. Oh, me oh my.

    (SBI-Settle down CSD. We’re passing along information that is pertinent and letting readers be informed. Just because you don’t think it’s worth reporting doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reporting. If you don’t care for the report then just move along and let others form their own opinions.)

  8. CSD says:

    They banned it in Brazil years ago to cut down on in stadium incidents. Brazil said they would allow it when they submitted their bid. The vote is a bit of a formality. Qatar has already said would allow it when they submitted their bid.

  9. ManicMessiah says:

    The only development FIFA really care about are the bills that haven’t been passed yet. They pass those, and it will be amazing how quickly these development issues will be non-issues with FIFA again.

  10. hogatroge says:

    All of the doomsayers are a bit premature.

    Regardless, the arrogance and egos at play are hilarious. Brasil seriously thinks they’re going to organize a FIFA event without dealing with Valcke. lol.

  11. Clayton says:

    This will all blow over (hopefully). I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT FOR WC 2014 – let’s see what the US can do, baby!

    WCQ coming up soon – lookin’ forward to it!!!

  12. CJ says:

    “Hello, Sunil? Valcke here. Listen, we’ve run into a little problem down in Rio and we were wondering if you could help us out…. ”

  13. QuakerOtis says:

    +1

    Not to single out SBI for it, but there’s a little “1st World” condescension implied in suggesting that Brazil (of all nations) can’t put on a soccer tournament.

  14. CACuzcatlan says:

    You’re wrong. Lots of corruption, stadiums behind schedule, red tape, changing laws, infrastructure, and more. I’ve seen Brazilians say that the only organization more corrupt than FIFA is the CBF (Brazilian FA)

  15. Kasey says:

    The World Cup will be in Brazil in 2014. Book it.

  16. 2tone says:

    Yeah it really is a situation worth monitoring. It’s already common knowledge that Brasil is further behind in WC preperations than South Africa was at this time. But nonethelss I hope they pull it off. As always the U.S. is back-up plan #1.

  17. tim says:

    Well, I was there in Sao Paulo and Rio in December. I toured a stadium and spoke with the largest bank in the country among other businesses(MBA trip).
    While they did not say it was in a dire situation, everyone said there were major hurdles. Unless the process speeds up there will be MAJOR issues come World Cup time.

  18. Ricky says:

    Are you talking about DC and Chicago or Brazil?

  19. martin says:

    the usa should host it every time.

  20. Ricky says:

    Did South Africa actually make money on the World Cup? Has FIFA shared any of the spoils yet?

  21. QuakerOtis says:

    From what you saw, what are the specific hurdles? Infrastructure? Labor disputes? Security… ?

    I’m thinking you might be a better source than journalists beating the standard drums of pessimism from afar.

  22. SwerveZ says:

    I don’t care under what circumstances; if they offer it to us, we take it. No questions asked…

  23. QuakerOtis says:

    Not trying to argue, btw, just curious.

    (SBI-You’re not trying to argue but you mention “journalists beating the pessimism drum from afar”? Come on man. That’s weak. We’re passing along reports of a public dispute between FIFA and the Brazilian government. Not sure where I said the World Cup was in danger of not being in Brazil. Right now it’s early days, and hopefully the beef gets squashed, but it is something to keep an eye on.

    When I write a report discussing how Brazil’s bid is a mess and there’s no chance of the World Cup being ready for 2014, feel free to say I’m beating the “pessimism drum.” In the meantime, slow down on the off-base characterizations of a pretty simple report.)

  24. Nate says:

    I live in Brazil. I can tell you right now the situation is a train wreck waiting to happen. The airports are woefully unprepared for Brazilians arriving from other parts of the country let alone all the foreign tourists. In many cities like Brasilia, Manaus and Fortaleza there simply are not enough hotels to accommodate 20,000-30,000 out-of-town fans. And in the cities like Rio and Sao Paulo which do have enough hotels, the hotels are already packed with the normal day to day Brazilian life. And I haven’t even discussed the behind schedule stadiums in just about every city, the inadequate transport for games and the obvious security issues. The last three can be solved in time. I don’t know how you can build new airports and hotels in time for 2014. Things don’t exactly move fast down here with Brazilian bureaucracy. I hope I am wrong, but I think the Brazilian government reacted so harshly because they know a lot of of what Valcke said was true.

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  27. CSD says:

    SBI,

    I Was not aware that me having an opinion was deterring other that had an opinion.

    My point is that with many major sporting events the media feeds the doom and gloom hype. Somehow miraculously the events come off on schedule and as planned. Yet the next big event the same doom and gloom type stories are reported. I am calling BS.

    (SBI-There IS a difference between simply having an opinion and calling us out for simply reporting news and ridiculing a pretty standard report. There IS a difference between saying you don’t think someone is a big deal and telling us we’re wrong for even putting it on our site. You might want to consider your tone when you write things. Your point was lost amid the bluster and attitude of a very snippy comment. I know that’s not something you normally do, but that didn’t make it any less annoying.)

  28. FSegaud says:

    Sepp…is that you???????

    This is about Brazil…not Turkey. Wrong topic too.

  29. ANM says:

    “We are contingency plan número uno every cup. I bet FIFA dangles it over the head of the host country: “Dont eff up or we’ll take this thing to the US”.”

    True dat. The USA is to FIFA as Los Angeles is to the NFL

  30. wilyboy says:

    FIFA’s power derives from the World Cup, the biggest golden goose in the sporting universe. If Brazil drops the golden egg, we take it and run where all host countries run- deeper in the tournament than they could have gotten without it.

    Think South Africa is an exception? South Africa doesn’t even make the WC without hosting it, and they beat France.

  31. Oranje Mike says:

    No. I’ll take being a backup option. I can’t afford a trip to Brazil.

  32. wilyboy says:

    One major difference between South Africa and Brazil is that SA was overcoming very concrete obstacles- stadiums, housing, crime, but with a powerful concerted eagerness to welcome the world from the top down.

    Brazil’s main problem is itself, its own corruption, its own stagnation. Their fan base might be eager, but their government is trailing almost out of apathy. We get down to it, and Brazil is still tripping, the US rightfully deserves to host.

  33. Edwin in LA says:

    Hell yeah, that alone would help the 10-12 cities that would host it, and whomever would host the International Broadcasting Center also would make that city pretty active for about a month…..Houston I believe is where they wanted to have the Broadcasting Center….

    I know we could use the tourism in California whether it’s in just Pasadena or also in NorCal…

    But it does sucks we got screwed out of 2022 still to this day …..

  34. QuakerOtis says:

    Thanks for the perspective Ives, but I’m not sure why you are so offended.

    a) I regularly visit this site, becuase you and your staff aren’t prone to exageration. I was unaware that discussing generic media reactions to the standard World Cup perperation hicups would grab your attention in this way.

    b) You ended the report in a way which made me think you are also tired of the tripe I was referring too, so I’m not sure why you thought I was talking about you in particular, or why you feel the need to defend your integrity here.

    c) I clearly stated that I’m not singling you out for this, so… have a nice night.

  35. eric says:

    Very bold prediction.

  36. steveo says:

    USA- waiting for a 3rd world country to f up the WC preparations from 2010 til 2030…

  37. EARL says:

    your comment implies brazil is a 3rd world country, which makes you an enormous moron.

  38. Dimidri says:

    Only one of the fastest growing economies both per capita and GDP-wise…

  39. tim says:

    The first major hurdle is airport infrastructure. The major international airport in Rio is the size of a US regional airport…not designed to handle high capacity.

    Also, private industry does not have a lot of access to capital as most foreign investment has complicated tax implications. (i.e. increased capital for airplanes…)

    Finally, the stadium in Rio is well underway (renovations, not construction), renovations and expansion of several stadiums in outlaying cities has yet to begin.

    Most business people are concerned. Though MAJOR government intervention including federal cash investments and expedited construction clearance can make for a successful world cup.

    As Ives states, it IS worth monitoring. Though that does not imply a successful Brazilian world cup is unattainable or unlikely. The country just needs to pick up the pace!

    Keep up the good work Ives. #1 source for Soccer new and opinion.

  40. John Lennon says:

    Here’s the solution.

    Give USA 2014.
    Brazil gets 2018

    This will give Brazil the necessary time to finish up.

    Russia 2022, Qatar 2026.

    This will give Qatar the time to invent their A/C technology using carbon nanotubes and room temperature super-conductors.

  41. CplDaniel says:

    Carbon nano-tube A/C should be a scary thought. I saw in a consumer reports (topic, dangerous stuff you can order in the mail),that carbon nano-tubes act like Asbestos if any particles are inhaled.

  42. Kasey says:

    A bold prediction would be if I had stated the WC would be in the States anytime soon

  43. WendellGee says:

    I knew those damn Muslim fundamentalists would fight having beer in the stadium.

    Oh wait.

  44. Mig22 says:

    Agree, CSD, the story is just filler and it is news about the World Cup. The language used is the typical sports boilerplate stuff but c’mon that IS the way that sports is written about.

    And you gotta admit that the tone of your criticism MIGHT have been a bit harsh. ;)

  45. PD says:

    nah… they’ve got Qatar, right?

    Seriously though, though it’s never happened I bet FIFA has a plan B every year. That said I wonder what is the “official” contingency is?

    I mean USA makes sense on a lot of levels given the stadium, travel & hotel infrastructure, etc. But the same could be said of Germany Italy France and England not to mention Spain and Holland even Japan and South Korea.

    So, is USA just an assumption of is that an official thing?

  46. Charles says:

    The US is the best equipped to host a WCup, that goes double for last minute switches.|

    I don’t want Brazil to lose it, but that should be taken in consideration when awarding the next one not already placed.

  47. Judging Amy says:

    Its happened before. Mexico 1986. Colombia was supposed to host.

  48. Judging Amy says:

    So if the cup is hosted in Brazil, hotels are gonna be even more super expensive than usual World Cup rates?

  49. Judging Amy says:

    Not to derail but…Can we bash how bad a choice the Qatar hosting decision was? I love doing that.

  50. bryan says:

    yeah but carbon nanotubes are going to be the future of mega-engineering…and many other things. count on it. they have some time to work out the negatives…haha lets hope they do

  51. JP says:

    Brazil getting delayed on hosting a party??

    Who arrives on time for ANY party in Brazil?

    Oh wait…

    Foreigners…

    But once they get going, nobody knows how to party better! :-)

  52. Michael says:

    All I know is the guy selling vuvuzelas made a killing.

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