Six of the tournament's 12 host stadiums are yet to be ready for the June 12-July 13 event, while concern also surrounds the progress of work on airports, roads and hotels, media reported on Monday.

"Brazil has come to realize that they started too late," Blatter said.

"Yet they are the only country who has had such a long time, seven years, to prepare," Blatter added.

Blatter said he was confident the nationwide protests that tarnished last year's Confederation's Cup would not be repeated at football's showpiece event.

"I am an optimist, not a pessimist. Football will be protected. I believe that Brazilians will not attack football directly. This is the sport's home, it's a religion," he said.

"But we know there will be new demonstrations, protests. Last year, they were organized by social networks. There was no goal, but at the World Cup they will be more directed, more structured," he added.


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