Kind words help save FIFA relationship with Brazil

TALES AZZONI AP Sports Writer Published:

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Kind words were all it took to get FIFA and Brazil back on the same page.

Just two weeks after a public spat raised concerns over the 2014 World Cup, FIFA President Sepp Blatter ended a "short but important visit" to Brazil, easing tensions and re-establishing good rapport with the host country.

With a smile on his face, Blatter shook hands with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and gave her a gift -- an old framed photo of the duo alongside Pele. In return, Brazilian congressmen took the FIFA official to a traditional Brazilian lunch.

It was a harsh contrast to the last exchange between FIFA and Brazil, one that started with Secretary General Jerome Valcke crudely telling the host country it needed to pick up the pace of preparations.