FIFA plans cheap SWC tickets
FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke (File)
Rio de Janeiro - FIFA will make half-price tickets available for Brazilians aged 65 and over at the 2014 World Cup finals, amid plans to make all tickets cheaper for fans from the host nation.
Brazilian law states that people aged over 65 are entitled to half-price tickets but FIFA had initially refused to follow the policy, sparking anger in Brazilian political circles, before relenting.
However, Jerome Valcke, secretary general of world football's governing body, said in an interview published in Tuesday's edition of newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo that half-price tickets could not be made available to other specific groups, such as "blood donors, students or former players".
FIFA and the Brazilian government are at loggerheads over the sale of cheap tickets to students, in line with Brazilian law, and over the sale of alcohol in stadia, with Valcke insisting cheaper tickets across the board is a more viable option.
"We must work at ways of making tickets available at preferential prices for all Brazilians who cannot afford to pay large sums," Valcke said.
"That seems fairer to me than only taking into account certain sections of the population."
FIFA hope to reach agreement on the matter before president Sepp Blatter meets Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff next month.
Valcke also said he believes the Brazilian government is worried by the corruption accusations against the country's sports minister Orlando Silva, who has denied embezzling millions of dollars of public funds.
The secretary general also spoke out about fears in FIFA circles that stadia designated to host matches at the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup will not be ready in time.
"There is a real worry regarding the Confederations Cup, but the World Cup is not such a big fear," he said.
"Some venues will be finished late, but will still be ready in time for the opening match of the World Cup.
"The Maracana is one of the biggest challenges, as there is still a lot of work to do."