BRASILIA: Brazil and Fifa pledged on Friday to work together for the success of the 2014 World Cup after high-level fence-mending talks to end their public row over criticism of the country's lagging preparations for the top sporting event.
"We came to the conclusion that we will work together hand in hand and we will be able... to present the most extraordinary Word Cup ever organized," Fifa boss Sepp Blatter said after a meeting lasting nearly two hours with President Dilma Rousseff here.
The talks aimed to put a final end to the row sparked earlier this month by Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke who slammed Brazil's lagging preparations for the World Cup.
Blatter said Rousseff pledged to meet all of the commitments made to Fifa by the government of her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Rousseff said that "the Brazilian government will honor all the commitments" made to Fifa," he noted. "I have full confidence in Brazil's ability to organise this Cup."
Sport Minister Aldo Rebelo attended the meeting and said it served to reaffirm "the joint objective of Brazil and Fifa to stage a great World Cup and to work in harmony and cooperation."
Also attending the meeting were Brazil's soccer legend Pele, an ambassador of the 2014 World Cup, and fellow retired star Ronaldo, a high-profile member of the country's organizing committee for the event.
Valcke ignited a firestorm of protest when he suggested the Brazilian organizers of football's 2014 showpiece needed a "kick up the backside" because preparations were running behind schedule.
Fifa subsequently apologised for Valcke's remarks, which Brazilian authorities deemed offensive.
Brazil accepted the apologies but Rebelo said Valcke was no longer acceptable as a Fifa spokesman.
"Valcke is still working for Fifa. And the issue between Valcke and Brazil is one for the Fifa president, one that I must solve," Blatter said. "Could you give me the time to (find) a solution?" AFP