By Laura Madden, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke on Friday criticized Brazil for its lack of preparation to host the 2014 World Cup. The main grievance on Friday from the world’s football (soccer) governing body is that everything appears to be behind schedule.
There has been little movement on the laws allowing the sale of beer in the stadiums, currently illegal in Brazil in an effort to curb violence.
He pointed to the fact that the twelve stadiums being built across the nation are not on schedule. “I don’t understand why things are not moving,” he said, adding that there was no ‘Plan B’.”
FIFA also expressed concern over the sale of discount tickets to students and pensioners.
But Valcke’s biggest concern is the lack of infrastructure to receive the expected amount of visitors from around the world.
“You have more than enough [hotels] in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but if you think about Manaus, you need more,” he said, referring to the city in the Amazon jungle that will host a few games.
“Let’s say in Salvador you have England v Holland and you have 12 percent of the stadium with English fans and 12 percent Dutch – that’s 24 percent of 60,000 fans. Where are they all going to stay? The city is nice but the way to get to the stadium and all the organization of transportation has to be improved.”
FIFA had warned against spreading the games out across the country instead of concentrating them in one region such as the Southeast.
“If you follow one team you will have to fly 8,000 km,” said Valcke. “We did it at the request of Brazil. Having supported the decision we have to ensure the fans and the media … will be able to follow their team.”
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