FIFA president Sepp Blatter has maintained his faith that Brazil will deliver the 2014 World Cup on time as world football’s governing body announced that the responsibilities of its Organising Committee for the World Cup will be extended to cover decisions related to the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
A meeting at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Tuesday saw Brazil 2014, led by president José Maria Marin and CEO Ricardo Trade, provide the Committee – which includes the entire FIFA Executive Committee – with a comprehensive update on the preparations for this year’s Confederations Cup and the World Cup itself. It was confirmed that the final draw for the 2014 World Cup will take place at Costa do Sauipe in Bahia on December 6. As a first decision on the 2018 World Cup, the organising committee also approved a proposal from Russia 2018 that the preliminary draw take place in Saint Petersburg on either July 24 or 25, 2015.
Brazil, like 2010 World Cup host South Africa, has faced constant questions over its preparations for the tournament and Blatter said delays and other minor incidents were part and parcel of staging a major sports event. “With the power of Brazil, and I don’t only speak of the economic power but also with the willpower, Brazil will be ready and will deliver a wonderful World Cup,” said Blatter, according to Reuters. “When there is one year or less to go before the World Cup, there is always the question of will they be ready. But they will be ready because it is the World Cup and nobody can afford not to be ready. There is no problem and I can say, definitely, don’t be afraid. It’s all a question of trust and confidence and trust and confidence from the FIFA side is totally there.”
FIFA stated that the decision to extend the remit of its Organising Committee has been taken due to the fact that preparations for three consecutive editions of the World Cup are currently ongoing. The Committee aims to ensure the World Cup is organised in compliance with the provisions of the regulations applicable to the competition, the list of requirements and the organising association agreement. It is currently chaired by Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL) president Nicolas Leoz, with UEFA president Michel Platini and Confederation of African Football (CAF) counterpart Issa Hayatou serving as deputy chairmen. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said: “Considering that we have three FIFA World Cups in simultaneous preparation, it was necessary to extend this FIFA decision forum to cover not only the 2014 event but also the next two events.”