By Brennan Stark, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called for Brazil’s 2014 World Cup opening match to be played at the world-famous Maracanã Stadium in Rio – and not in São Paulo as many originally thought. In an interview with Estado de São Paulo, Blatter stated, “Brazilian football is Rio. And for the world, Rio is the most attractive city to open the World Cup without any doubt at all.”
The leader of the governing body of the world’s most popular sport went on to say that “Given that the press center and the FIFA organization will be based in Rio, it seems that this town is the most suitable for staging the opening match.”
Blatter also used the interview to criticize Brazilian politicians, including president Rousseff, saying that disputes between “mayors, governors, and the federal government” had complicated the World Cup’s organization.
In 2014, Brazil who holds the most World Cup championships, will attempt to claim its first title on home soil and sixth overall. FIFA’s official announcement on the location of the tournament’s opening match will be made in October.
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with the major news as it happens.