FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes this year’s World Cup in Brazil will be the “best ever” despite recent setbacks in preparations.
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The build-up to this year’s finals has been plagued by problems, highlighted by the deaths of construction workers hurrying to finish stadia in time for the start of the tournament.
But despite host nation’s woes to be ready for the June 1 kick-off, Blatter is confident the tournament will be remembered as the best in history.
“Despite all the criticism, it will be the best ever World Cup,” the 77-year-old told Fifa.com.
“The rhythm of the football is different, the competition is different. We have 32 teams now and back then [at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil] there wasn’t even 16.
“We have had competitions such as the one in Italy [in 1990] where they hadn’t finished putting in seats the day before the first match, but here we will be ready.
“I am sure that in March all of the stadiums will be completed and we will have enough time to do some rehearsals and I’m sure these modern stadia will respond to the expectations of the spectators and the players.”