Valcke holds meeting with World Cup 2014 committee

The French national discussed the competition with organisers for the first time since his controversial criticisms attracted fierce condemnation across Brazil
Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke has met with members of the 2014 World Cup Local Organising Committee (COL) in his first encounter with the body since he aroused controversy with his "kick up the ass" comments.

The official's future as a part of the competition's preparations had been thrown into doubt when he strongly criticised Brazil's efforts to get ready for the tournament in 2014. Sports minister Aldo Rebelo had urged Fifa to remove him from the organisation, while former World Cup winner Romario also condemned Valcke for his unguarded words.

On Tuesday, however, the Frenchman was with the COL in a meeting held to discuss current progress. Jose Maria Marin, the new president of the committee as well as the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) following Ricardo Teixeira's resignation, was also in attendance at the encounter, held in Zurich.

Elsewhere, Rebelo adopted a more conciliatory tone than before in referencing polemic Fifa regulation, which may force Brazilian authorities to allow the sale of alcohol in stadiums and scrap discounted tickets for certain low-income groups.

"Brazil must fulfil its commitments which have been assigned by the government in accordance with Fifa, just like other countries have done in the past and like the two countries who have already been chosen for the following competitions [Russia and Qatar] will do," the Communist Party deputy told ESPN Brasil.

The Fifa World Cup guidelines have come in for strong criticism from some commentators, alleging that the body values commercialism over maintaining the country's football culture.