After a public falling-out between the Brazilian government and one of FIFA's top officials, the soccer organization's secretary general, Jerome Valcke, is postponing a trip to the next host nation of the World Cup.
A week after sparking outrage through criticism of Brazil's World Cup 2014 preparation progress, FIFA announced a planned inspection trip would be postponed.
While FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke cancelled his scheduled trip for March 12, FIFA President Sepp Blatter made plans to first visit and meet with Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff next week, the world soccer federation said in a statement on Friday.
Valcke's trip would be rescheduled after Blatter met with Rousseff, FIFA said.
Valcke had triggered an indignant response last Friday when he sent a blunt message to competition organizers in Brazil.
"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."
Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo described the comments as "unacceptable, offensive and inappropriate." He insisted that Valcke would no longer be welcomed in Brazil on World Cup business, though he accepted written apologies from the French official and Blatter.
In spite of the high-profile bickering, officials from FIFA continue to work with local organizers in Brazil. The Associated Press reported nearly 40 FIFA officials were in the southern city of Curitiba on Thursday.
sjt/ncy (AP, AFP)