World cup hosts Russia better organised than Brazil: Blatter

January 21st, 2012 - 6:05 am ICT by IANS  

St. Petersburg, Jan 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia is better prepared now for the 2018 World Cup than Brazil is for the tournament just two years away, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said.

“The tournament organisation in Brazil is not as good as in Russia, even though there is little more than two years left until the Brazil World Cup, and until the Russian one, more than six years,” Blatter said Friday at the centenary celebrations of the Russian Football Union in St. Petersburg.

“Brazil has so many problems, but with Russia everything will be wonderful,” Blatter said.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke also blasted Brazil’s approach to organising the event, saying “there is not a single stadium ready today”.

Matches will be played in 12 venues across the sprawling country, with the final in the iconic Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Travel and legal concerns have also plagued the run-up to football’s biggest tournament in its most successful nation.

In contrast with Brazil, Russia has time, money and total governmental support on its side.

The country is building or refurbishing more than a dozen stadiums in preparation for the 2018 World Cup, to be held in 11 cities mainly in the country’s European region.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said the government is mulling free travel passes for fans for the duration of the tournament, and that national air carriers Aeroflot and Transaero could ferry home fans around the venues for free.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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