BRAZIL insist there is “no panic” ahead of the World Cup and they will be ready for the big kick-off on June 12.
The minister in charge of organising the biggest football event defended the hosts’ troubled preparations, saying there is “no embarrassment and no panic” and the event will “surprise the world.”
Last night Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s chief executive, tweeted there was also a “race against the clock” for the Arena das Dunas in Natal to be finished in time for the first game on 13 June.
However, Luis Fernandes, Brazil’s deputy minister for sport and the official charged with running the tournament assured there is no place for concern.
SOUTH Korea named a Premier League trio among their 23-man squad for the World Cup.
Ki Sung-yueng, who spent last season on loan at Sunderland from Swansea City, Arsenal striker Park Chu-young, and Cardiff’s Kim Bo-kyung are among manager Hong Myung-Bo’s selected ones.
Other familiar names include Lee Chung-Yong from Bolton Wanderers and Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-Min.
LIVERPOOL goalkeeper Simon Mignolet remained cautious about Belgium's chances at the World Cup despite talk they could win the tournament.
The 26-year-old, who has earned 15 international caps, said: “Our next goal is to make the second round. After that, we'll just have to wait and see.”
With coach Marc Wilmots able to call upon the likes of captain Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, many see Belgium as dark horses at the event.
Belgium have been drawn in Group H alongside Russia, South Korea and Algeria in at the upcoming tournament in Brazil.
ITALY striker Giuseppe Rossi remains a doubt for the tournament.
The Villarreal striker has suffered a series of injuries, including a cruciate ligament problem which he suffered in a match at Real Madrid.
Italy's head coach Cesare Prandelli admits he has been impressed by Rossi's efforts to regain full fitness and said:"He is a talent with great quality, one of the best in Italy.
“He is determined, hungry and made a thousand sacrifices to be here and in the running for the World Cup.”
However, team doctor Enrico Castellacci said on Tuesday that Saturday's friendly against Ireland in London could be crucial for Rossi.
“Clinically, he is fine but he will be evaluated during the game, and then, of course, it is up to Prandelli to decide whether or not to call him up.” said Castellacci.
FLUMINENSE midfielder Edwin Valencia has been trimmed from Colombia's preliminary squad after failing to recover from injury.
National coach Jose Pekerman confirmed on Wednesday that the 29-year-old will not be fit in time for this summer's showpiece event in Brazill, having struggled with since since the start of the season.