(Reuters) - Brazil will stage an impeccable and unforgettable World Cup in 2014 despite sluggish preparations and disagreements between the government and FIFA, the head of the country’s football confederation (CBF) Ricardo Teixeira said.
CBF president Teixeira’s comments came after the government said on Saturday it would no longer deal with FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, who had said 2014 organisers needed “a kick up the backside”.
Valcke’s comments marked a further escalation of a dispute that has simmered for years as stadiums, hotels, roads and other basic infrastructure for the 2014 Cup run badly behind schedule.
“FIFA’s concerns in relation to the preparations for any World Cup are natural and legitimate,” said Teixeira in a statement.
“But the organisation can relax because Brazil and its people have the competence and integrity to organise an impeccable, unforgettable World Cup.”
Brazil’s Congress has angered FIFA by dragging its feet over legislation which needs to be passed for the World Cup, including a law that would overturn a ban on the sale of alcohol at games.
Politicians also want to protect discounts for students and old-age pensioners which are guaranteed under Brazilian law but could be overturned by the proposed World Cup bill.
Valcke said Brazil should have passed the bill in 2007 as part of guarantees given by the government for being awarded the tournament.
“It could seem some aspects of the World Cup organisation are progressing slowly. But in every democratic process, the discussions should be ample and take the interests of the public into account,” added Teixeira.
“Brazil doesn’t have a single owner, it’s a solid democracy which is recognised worldwide.”
Head of both the CBF and the local organising committee, Teixeira said there was no chance of Brazil losing the tournament, which was earmarked for South America under FIFA’s short-lived rotation system.
“The 2014 World Cup will take place in Brazil and not by accident,” said Teixeira.
“It is coming to one of the six biggest economies on the planet, to a country which is still growing while most of the world is going through a serious crisis.”
“It has arrived in South America thanks to the continent’s nine world titles,” he added, referring to the five World Cup wins for Brazil and two each for Argentina and Uruguay.
”It has been entrusted to the most victorious country in the history of World Cups and the only one which has taken part in every single tournament.
”The 2014 World Cup will take place in Brazil because the federal government, local organising committee, CBF want it that way.
“Above all, the Brazilian people, on the contrary to isolated voices who prefer to sing to the tune of defeat, will receive football’s greatest party with extreme pride after a 64-year wait.”
Teixeira’s statement began with a reply to leading Brazilian journalist and critic Juca Kfouri, who wrote on Saturday that Brazil, which previously hosted the tournament in 1950, could be in danger of losing the World Cup.
“It could be the beginning of the end for the World Cup in Brazil with incalculable losses for all the work which is in progress, even if it is late,” he wrote in a blog.
Kfouri added that it was known that FIFA wanted to take the World Cup to England instead.
Teixeira replied: “Once again, that journalist has got it wrong and invented fantasy in talking about the World Cup.”