Is it any wonder that Brazil’s World Cup preparations are such a mess with the likes of Sepp Blatter in charge?
Blatter yesterday told reporters he had received “positive” updates about work going on in Brazil.
“We don’t have any problem because we have received positive reports from all sides — especially in construction,” Blatter told reporters, according to this AP report in USA Today. He said construction was progressing well “not just for stadiums but for airports and hotels in different regions.”
On March 28, Blatter said: “I must say that in comparison with the state of play between South Africa and Brazil three years before the World Cup, Brazil is behind South Africa. (The World Cup is) tomorrow. The Brazilians think it’s just the day after tomorrow. What they must do is to give a little bit more speed now in the organization.”
Now either Blatter is absolutely clueless, which can’t be discounted, or he is shamelessly changing his message to suit different audiences, which is more likely given he’s up for reelection.
The truth is that even a blind man can see Brazil’s preparations are behind schedule. Officials in one host city, Natal, haven’t decided on a stadium yet, while in São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city and the one chosen to hold the tournament’s opening game, FIFA ruled out the 80,000-capacity Morumbi in favour of a much smaller ground that is still no more than a paper mache model.
The government’s own agency, Ipea, has just released a study showing that nine of the 13 airports being reformed for the tournament won’t be ready in time, according to this Brazilian blog on UOL.
Of course there is one way to know why Blatter is contradicting himself so ridiculously. FIFA could show us what’s in their progress reports.
But that would require transparency and accountability. There’s no chance of that.