World Cup chit-chat: 'Rio will host best tournament'
Three stadiums and several airports are not ready, and other promised infrastructure has been shelved, but the 2014 World Cup will "be the most successful of all time", the head of FIFA told Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff on Thursday.
Rousseff said she spoke with Sepp Blatter on the phone for 10 minutes and accepted his invitation to attend FIFA's 64th Congress in Sao Paulo on June 10, two days before the World Cup kicks off in the city.
"Blatter told the president he is 'certain that the World Cup will be the most successful of all time'," Rousseff's office wrote in a blog post.
Blatter told Rousseff that with just 63 days until the tournament kicks off, 2.5 million tickets have been sold, or almost 75 per cent of the total available.
Three months ago, Blatter told a Swiss newspaper no country had ever been so behind schedule in organising a World Cup in all the years he had been at FIFA.
In December Blatter appealed to "God, Allah, whoever" to help ensure all 12 stadiums would be finished on time.
Image: Brazilian former world champions players Juliano Belleti (blurred in background) and former Brazil football captain Cafu (behind right), synchronized swimming athletes Bia (left) and Branca Feres (right) and Brazilian TV presenter and model Fernanda Lima (2nd from left) pose for photo after Volunteers Uniform launch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup during Fashion Rio Summer 2014/2015 at Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday
Photographs: Buda Mendes/Getty Images