FIFA president Sepp Blatter has slammed Brazil's faltering preparations for this year's World Cup and has suggested he is expecting to see national protests throughout the tournament.
Football's controversial figure criticised the South American country in an interview with Swiss newspaper 24 Heures, as reported by The Telegraph:
Brazil has just found out what it means and has started work much too late.
No country has been so far behind in preparations since I have been at Fifa even though it is the only host nation which has had so much time - seven years - in which to prepare.
As highlighed by Martyn Ziegler of The Independent, only six of the 12 World Cup stadiums were finished by the deadline of Dec. 31, 2013. Various hotels, airports and roads are also yet to be completed as the country comes under huge scrutiny ahead of the long-awaited competition.
World Cup hosts usually have six years or less to complete their stadia and infrastructure, but with just six months until hordes of fans descend upon Brazil, there's plenty of work still to be done.
Reports recently highlighted how the competition's most expensive stadium has a leaking roof—the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia—as covered by Andrew Downie of Reuters via Yahoo! Eurosport.
Vincent Bevins of the Los Angeles Times also reports how two workers were crushed by a crane when working on Sao Paulo's World Cup stadium, while another duo lost their lives on the site of Manaus' Amazonia Arena.
Bevins discussed the problems in detail, highlighting the continued troubles experienced throughout construction:
It's not clear whether the deaths resulted from poor planning or even criminal negligence on the part of the government or construction companies.
But they have brought increased attention to the problems with preparations for the international sporting extravaganza in June, which has also been hit by accusations of corruption and wasteful public spending.
To make matters worse, protests engulfed the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, suggesting there could be more to come at the biggest footballing tournament of them all.
As reported in The Telegraph's article, Blatter is expecting more of the same during the World Cup:
There was no specific goal but during the World Cup the protests will perhaps be more concrete, more organised. But I also believe the football will be safe, I do not believe that Brazilians will attack the football directly. For them, it's a religion.
Considering "Brazil's biggest cartel" has also promised a "World Cup of terror," as reported by the Daily Mail, the problems continue to mount for a country that is famed for its footballing heritage across the globe.