RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — FIFA on Monday defended keeping the 2014 World Cup in Brazil despite civil unrest during the test event, and said no ”official offers” have been received from countries to step in to host the tournament.
More than a million Brazilians have taken to the streets during the Confederations Cup to protest about the lack of investment in public services compared with the billions of dollars being spent on the World Cup project.
Tear gas and rubber bullets have been fired at some demonstrators, leading to increased security around venues and suggestions that investment in Brazil is being wrongly diverted to fund a soccer tournament.
The government is projecting that $13.3 billion will be spent on stadiums, airport renovations and other projects for the World Cup, with an estimated $3.5 billion on venues.
But FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke, speaking for the first time in public since the violence worsened, insisted that the tournament is ”definitely not” under siege.
And world football’s top administrator maintained that the World Cup will bring benefits to the whole of Brazil.
”I think there’s a need to express all the good jobs we are doing,” Valcke said. ”We are doing plenty of good things. And again, it’s never enough, but I am not ashamed about what we are doing.
”We are doing well and we are doing a lot of good things.”
”There is no Plan B and, by the way, I have never received any official offer from any other countries around the world to stage the World Cup in 2014,” Valcke said.
Source: Associated Press