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FIFA apologises for 'advice' gaffe

Rio de Janeiro: FIFA performed an embarrassing U-turn on Saturday and apologised, saying it had withdrawn publicity material for the World Cup in Brazil that depicted Brazilians as unpunctual, impatient and even chaotic.

Having complained to Brazil about the slow pace of construction of stadiums for the World Cup, football's world governing body felt moved to add: "In Brazil, things are largely done last-minute."

FIFA admitted its attempts at humor had backfired. "The material was light-hearted and at no time was meant to criticise Brazil," a FIFA statement said.

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