Brazil to meet FIFA

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Brazilian Minister of Sports Aldo Rebelo has accepted an invitation by FIFA to participate in a meeting on the FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 FIFA World Cup preparations with FIFA and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee Brazil (LOC) at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 8 May 2012.

The working session will encompass the latest status of preparations as well as the agenda for the next 24 months. As well as the Minister of Sports, the ministrys Executive Secretary Luis Fernandes and its office chief Luiz Paulino will attend. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter will officially open the meeting. From the FIFA side, Secretary General Jerome Valcke, Deputy Secretary General Markus Kattner as well as the respective directors of the departments of Competition, Communication & Public Affairs and Legal will participate in the meeting. The LOC will be represented by Chairman Jose Maria Marin and two members of the management board, Ronaldo and Bebeto. Also present will be FIFAs Brazilian Executive Committee member Marco Polo Del Nero. Meanwhile, Rebelo has insisted that the country will be ready to stage the 2014 FIFA World Cup, adding that all planned infrastructure and stadium projects will be completed on time. Rebelo has told journalists that Brazil is spending $15. 9bn on projects linked to the tournament, as well as offering an additional $212m to each group building or upgrading the 12 stadia for the World Cup. Rebelos comments come after President Dilma Rousseff this week announced that $17bn would be directed towards enhancing public transport infrastructure ahead of the World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. The World Cup is a majestic and a very important event, said Rebelo, according to Bloomberg. But Brazil has done more important and more difficult things. Criticism of Brazils preparations for the tournament have centred on issues such as the implementation of the controversial World Cup law, delays and rising costs in construction projects, along with labour disputes which have led to strike action by construction workers at stadium sites. South Africa was similarly dogged by criticism ahead of its staging of the 2010 tournament, and Rebelo admitted that certain negative headlines were to be expected.

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