With plans for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in a continuing state of flux and embattled Ricardo Teixeira, the head of the Brazilian soccer federation and local organizing committee, on a "leave of absence," FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he will make Brazil 2014 a "personal dossier."
The problems with Brazil 2014 cover a wide variety of areas, most notably concerns about delays on work on stadiums and infrastructure. "There is no doubt that Brazil is not very far advanced," said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, "although at the level of the host cities things are working quite well. There remain problems with airports and roads, and there is not much public transport."
Former Brazilian great Romario, now a socialist politician, wants FIFA to guarantee the allocation of World Cup tickets to youth, seniors and the disabled. He is vice president of the Committee for Tourism and Sport in Brazil's lower house of Congress. On the legal front, Brazil's Congress has yet to pass a so-called World Cup bill, giving FIFA control over a wide range of business and marketing issues.
Teixeira, who is facing corruption charges, has been at odds with new Brazil president Dilma Rousseff. "Mr. Teixeira has asked for leave until the end of January," said Blatter. "Until then, he is out of FIFA, out of the organizing committee. At the end of January we will come back to that."