World Cup 2014: Brazil putting FIFA 'through hell,' official says
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup only five weeks away, one might expect soccer's global governing organization to be in a festive mood. But that isn't stopping high-level FIFA officials from complaining about the tournament's host country.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA's general secretary, said on Tuesday that FIFA is supporting Brazil to ensure the success of its premier event -- the World Cup -- but that the road leading up to the World Cup has been rocky, according to an AFP report.
Valcke said that FIFA has "been through hell" dealing with Brazil's political bureaucracy:
"In Brazil there are certain politicians who are against the World Cup, and the fact is that we've been through hell, essentially because in Brazil you have three political levels and there has been a change -- there was an election and we're not necessarily talking with the same people (as before) -- it was difficult to keep repeating the same message," Valcke said on Tuesday evening at a forum in Lausanne.
"It's not FIFA that is organising the World Cup in Brazil but Brazil which is organising the World Cup in 12 towns.
"We're supporting Brazil to ensure that it's a success because the whole of FIFA is based around the success of the World Cup. If the World Cup is a failure then we, FIFA, are in trouble."
Valcke also claimed that the 2018 tournament's host -- Russia -- would not be granted the same leeway as Brazil. In 2010, FIFA also said that host South Africa was not ready for the World Cup just months before the tournament.
FIFA isn't the only organization peeved by Brazil as it prepares for a major sporting event. In early April, the International Olympic Committee expressed discontent with Rio de Janeiro's preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games, though the organization also acknowledged that speculation over moving the games was premature. Just a few days before reports about the IOC's unhappiness surfaced, FIFA's Valcke said that Brazil was "not ready" for the 2014 World Cup. NEWCOMB: All 32 World Cup jerseys in photos