SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL—With only hours to go before Thursday’s opening match between Brazil and Croatia, sources confirmed that FIFA officials managed to hammer out the winner of the World Cup just in time for the tournament. “It was a close call, but we finally ironed out which country will win the World Cup on July 13,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter told reporters, emphasizing that while he and his colleagues had procrastinated in fixing the results of all 64 matches, the tournament organizers, referees, and the coaches and players from every team are “fully on board” with the predetermined outcomes following extensive negotiations. “I can’t reveal too much right now, but I can assure you that this tournament is going to feature huge upsets, thrilling stoppage time goals, and more than a few surprises for the fans. It’s going to be a wonderful World Cup.” Blatter added that he was eager to avoid a repeat of the 2010 World Cup, in which several matches were played without a winner having been previously determined, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost bribes.
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