The most incredible thing about this whole Jerome Valcke says Brazil “needs a kick up the backside” spat is his apology.
FIFA general secretary Valcke sent a letter to Sports Minister Rebelo apologising for saying Brazil’s World Cup preparations were “not working” and that organisers needed “a kick up the backside”.
The comments caused a huge furor in Brazil, as you can see here in my Reuters story.
Valcke blamed a translator for his lack of diplomacy and said his French should have been translated as something more akin to Brazil “needs a shake.”
Well, I spoke to someone who was there when he made those comments and it turns out HE SPOKE IN ENGLISH!
What kind of man – least of all being recorded by dozens of journalists, radio reporters and cameramen – thinks he can get away with such blatant lying?
And isn’t there someone in the Brazilian government who is going to take him to task about this?
Valcke, of course, has a history of lying, as this great Independent story from 2007 reveals. He was fired from FIFA once before for lying in a court case involving big sponsors.
His boss Blatter tried to smooth over the ruffled feathers yesterday by apologising to the Brazilian government. But I don’t know if it’s enough. The Brazilian government has declared Valcke persona non grata.
We’ll find out next week if they accept the double apology and back down. Valcke is due to visit Brazil March 12.