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Brazil 2014

Brazil has to be ready: Valcke

FIFA Secretary General admits delays in exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, confirms there is no Plan B for the event.

Last updated: 14 Mar 2014 14:05
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Brazil 2014 will be ready despite the ongoing delays and incomplete stadiums, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke has told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview.

Brazil has been heavily criticised for the delays and the fall in standards with FIFA President Sepp Blatter saying earlier this year that no previous host country has 'been so far behind in its preparations' than Brazil.

Valcke, however, confirmed that everything will be in place by June 12, the opening date of the tournament when the hosts take on Croatia.

Brazil has to be ready, they have no other choice. There's no Plan B

Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General

"Brazil has to be ready, they have no other choice," Valcke told Al Jazeera. "Is it going to be perfect? That's not the point. Does it mean that all that's been set will be ready on time? That's not the point. The point is that whatever we need to stage the World Cup will be there for you."

Six of Brazil's 12 stadiums failed to meet the December 31 deadline set by FIFA while a 55-year-old Portuguese man was the third worker to be killed during construction of Arena de Amazonia in Manaus last month.

Valcke accepts that preparations were not going perfectly but confirmed that the sport's governing body, or even Brazil, had no other choice than to host the tournament as planned.

"We need to ensure that everything is ready. I can confirm that and I can say right in your eyes that all will be there to ensure that the world cup will be a success. There is no Plan B."

Organisers in Brazil said that the delays had been caused by financial problems, health and safety issues for workers and construction site accidents.

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Al Jazeera
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