The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is little more than two years away, but the action surrounding the event has reached a fever pitch as a war of words between FIFA and the Brazilian government has cast an ominous tone around World Cup preparations.
Last Friday, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke was quoted as saying Brazilian preparations for the 2014 World Cup are moving too slowly and that the nation needed to pick things up.
That didn't go over well with the Brazilian government, which on Monday sent a letter to FIFA stating it would no longer deal with Valcke.
The exchange comes just as a Brazilian congressional commission is to vote on a key bill to regulate the World Cup, one which would pave the way for sale of alcohol at World Cup matches (alcohol is prohibited from being sold at Brazilian soccer stadiums).
The dust-up should blow over, but if it doesn't, and if the war of words leads to the key congressional bill being defeated, we could be in for a messy situation between FIFA and Brazil Just 27 months before the 2014 World Cup kicks off.
While we aren't quite at the point of talking about moving the 2014 World Cup, the Brazil situation is one worth monitoring. That said, as slow as Brazil's preparations are, we shouldn't assume the tournament is in any danger. We need only look at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa for a tournament that looked in real danger before it was ultimately run smoothly.
(UPDATED) Jerome Valcke has apologized for his comments, blaming a bad translation of his comments from French to Portuguese.
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