Speaking at the opening ceremony of Soccerex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil sports minister Aldo Rebelo tried to allay fears that corruption investigations and delays will tarnish the 2014 World Cup to be staged by his country.
"Rest assured that Brazil will have a great World Cup in 2014,” said Rebelo Monday in response to questions regarding the scandal-connected resignation of 2014 World Cup organizing committee president Ricardo Teixeira. “We are also going to have a good World Cup in terms of organization. The federal government, the state governments and the municipal governments of the 12 host cities are fully engaged in organizing this event to meet all the expectations of the world, of our country, of the athletes, the tourists and the organizers and promoters.”
Teixeira, a member of FIFA’s executive committee, is being investigated for his involvement with International Sports Licensing (ISL), a marketing agency that controlled and marketed World Cup television rights until it declared bankruptcy in 2001 with suspected debts of approximately $300 million. FIFA has said it will release next month Swiss documents that will identify officials who received kickbacks from ISL, with Texeira and former FIFA President Joao Havelange among those expected to be included.
Rebelo was appointed in October after predecessor Orlando Silva, hounded by corruption allegations, resigned.