Brazil to shut out FIFA official after criticism | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 03.03.2012
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Brazil to shut out FIFA official after criticism

The Brazilian government has announced that it will no longer deal with a high level FIFA executive after he criticized the country's preparations for the World Cup in 2014.

Brazil's sports minister on Saturday said his country would no longer deal with FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, after Valcke made disparaging remarks on Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup.

Valcke had criticized Brazil on Friday, calling into question whether the country would get its act together in time for the next World Cup.

"I am sorry to say but things are not working in Brazil," Valcke had said. "You have to push yourself, kick your [backside] and just deliver this World Cup and that is what we will do."

Brazil's Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo shot back, saying FIFA president Sepp Blatter would be informed that Brazil no longer wanted to deal with Valcke.

Jérôme Valcke speaks during a press conference

Valcke called Brazil's response 'puerile'

"The government will no longer accept the secretary general as FIFA spokesman," Rebelo said, describing Valcke's comments as impertinent, inappropriate and offensive. "We can't accept to hear such an offensive comment. He can't say something like that about a country. It's unacceptable."

Dealing with the issue

Valcke dismissed the minister's comments, accusing the government of acting childishly.

"Why doesn't he deal with the issue?" Valcke asked reporters in England on Saturday. "I made one comment saying things are not working well, and I for once said exactly what is happening in Brazil. If the result is they don't want to talk to me any more, I'm not the guy they want to work with, that's a bit puerile."

Valcke's comments were an escalation of ongoing disputes between FIFA and Brazil as the South American nation's construction projects languish behind schedule and legislation to allow alcohol within stadiums, pushed for by FIFA, faces delays.

sjt/acb (AFP, Reuters, AP)