In the first weekend of February 2012, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter visited South America in order to take part in meetings at CONMEBOL’s Extraordinary Congress in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion. Blatter, who was accompanied on the trip by FIFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar Llona, got involved in a number of events alongside leading members of the CONMEBOL Executive Committee.
At a press conference on Sunday 5 February, Blatter took the opportunity to look forward to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, when the final tournament returns to South American soil for the first time in 36 years.
“Brazil will host an extraordinary World Cup,” said Blatter, before adding that “the stadiums will be ready. We at FIFA have no doubt that it’ll be a great World Cup. There are some details to be ironed out in relation to guarantees and laws, but we’re hoping these will be sorted out by the end of March.”
The South American Zone qualifiers for Brazil 2014 kicked off in October 2011 and, with the host nation qualifying automatically, there are 4.5 further places up for grabs for CONMEBOL nations.