By Andrew Warshaw
Category: 2014 News
Published on Tuesday, 07 January 2014 09:03
January 7 - Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has hit back at FIFA President Sepp Blatter's attack on her country's lack of sufficient World Cup preparation by insisting it will stage the best tournament in history. Last weekend Blatter expressed FIFA's growing concern in no uncertain terms, chiding Brazil for being further behind any World Cup organiser he had ever known at this stage in the proceedings.
FIFA originally imposed an end-of-year deadline for all 12 venues be completed but was compelled to amend that when it became clear that almost half the stadiums were still behind schedule.
Five workers have died at stadium construction sites, including two when a crane collapsed at Sao Paulo's Itaquerao stadium in November.
But Rousseff used her Twitter account to counter Blatter's accusation that Brazil waited too long to implement World Cup projects, causing delays to stadiums, roads, airports and hotels.
"Brazilians start 2014 confident that they are going to host the World Cup of World Cups," Rousseff said. "In Brazil, the World Cup is going to be at home because this is the home of football."
Just like in South Africa four years ago there are fears that Brazil's notorious crime rate will strike at next summer's tournament but Rousseff is adamant tourists will not be targeted at her country's first World Cup since 1950.
"All who come to Brazil will be well received because we are happy and accommodating. We love football and for that reason we are proud to be hosts. Demand for tickets is the biggest there has been for any World Cup and that shows fans across the world have confidence in Brazil."
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