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Blatter confident of World Cup

Saturday, June 07, 2014

SAO PAULO - FIFA President Sepp Blatter threw his support behind Brazil's troubled World Cup preparations yesterday, insisting he was "confident" the tournament would be a success.

"We at FIFA, we are confident, it will be a celebration," Blatter told reporters in Sao Paulo, the city that will host the opening match of the finals on June 12.

Blatter's comments came as Sao Paulo was plunged into transport chaos after a strike by subway workers yesterday.

It was the latest in a series of strikes and protests which have plagued Brazil in the build-up to the World Cup.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke also vowed to stage a successful tournament.

"We have everything ready for June 12, we have the best base camps for the teams," Valcke said.

"There are no risks for the opening weeks of the competition which are the most challenging because there are the most teams," he added.

"We are in control, we have nothing to fear in the coming days."

Blatter meanwhile said he believed the febrile atmosphere of social unrest which has gripped Brazil in the build-up would subside once the competition got under way.

"I'm an optimist," Blatter said.

"After the tournament kicks off I think there will be a better mood."

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