SAO PAULO (AP):FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke expressed increasing confidence yesterday that Brazil's hosting of the 2014 World Cup will be a success, even though there is still a lot of work left to get some of the stadiums completed by the December deadline established by FIFA.
Valcke made the comments in Rio de Janeiro at the end of an inspection tour at some of the 12 host cities in Brazil.
He said that FIFA is "more relaxed" regarding the progress of the country's preparations, but "definitely, there is still a lot of work to do" to make sure that the six remaining venues are delivered this year.
The secretary general said that with the tickets already on sale, there is no room for changes and Brazil will have to get all 12 venues ready.
"The turning point was on August 19 when we started the ticket sales," he said. "We are selling tickets for the 12 stadiums, so it means that there will be games in the 12 stadiums. The time for talking about having 11, 12 or 10 stadiums is over. We will have 12 host cities and 12 stadiums."
Valcke, the FIFA official responsible for overseeing Brazil's preparations, said that seeing the Confederations Cup take place without major glitches earlier this year gave FIFA more confidence that the World Cup will be successfully organised.