Rousseff, Blatter Confident After Meeting
The presidents of Brazil and FIFA came away from a one-hour meeting in Zurich confident in the staging of a successful World Cup this year.
“We are ready,” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told reporters, according to the AP. “We will be staging the cup of all cups.”
Brazil has faced criticism for missing stadium construction deadlines. Residents have been troubled by the amount of money being put toward the event. There was a fatal crane accident at a Sao Paulo stadium in November, as well as a threat by FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke that the Curitiba stadium may loses its matches if progress is not shown.
Rousseff and FIFA president Sepp Blatter spoke at a news conference on Thursday, though they did not take questions.
“It is all a matter of confidence and mutual trust. Confidence prevails,” said Blatter.
Rousseff was already in Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos. She arrived in Europe from the opening of the stadium in Natal, the seventh of 12 World Cup venues to be finished.
Rousseff described the remaining work as “relatively simple.”
FIFA had originally placed a December deadline on the completion of all stadiums. Progress reports on the remaining buildings are due February 18.
“There is no problem,” Blatter told Reuters, “At the end of the day, everything will be in order, everywhere in Brazil.”
Canada to Bid for 2026 World Cup
Canada has an aggressive plan to grow football within the country. That plan now includes a bid to host one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
The Canadian Soccer Association’s 2014-18 strategic plan outlines a bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“The process has to start now,” CSA president Victor Montagliani told CBC, calling the World Cup “the grand-daddy of them all.”
The bid would likely have to be filed by 2018.
Canada is already hosting the women’s edition of the World Cup next year.
“We’re the only G-8 nation to not host the World Cup,” said Montagliani. “We’ve hosted almost every other event. I think it’s time for Canada to step up to the plate.”
Canada’s men’s team is currently ranked 111th in the world, sitting between Bahrain and Guatemala. The team is winless over its last 14 games and has not scored in its last 10.
By INSIDER’s Nick Devlin