ZURICH: Jerome Valcke has issued a gentle hint to Brazil’s protesters that they and the nation will gain added value out of hosting the 2014 World Cup finals writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The two-week Confederations Cup in June generated more worldwide visibility than ever before but partly because of Brazil’s most expansive popular demonstrations in more than two decades.
Protesters equated the sums being spent on the World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympic Games with a perceived lack of funding by federal and state governments on the social welfare system.
Such claims were refuted by Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo but the right of Brazilians to have their say on the streets was defended by Brazil’s own players.
Valcke, FIFA’s secretary-general and World Cup progress-chaser, included a comment on the legacy value of the tournament in his latest monthly column, ahead of his return to Brazil for a further site-seeing visit.
“[Such a] success . . . can be felt by Brazilians long after the final whistle [when they] will benefit from numerous infrastructure upgrades, most of them projects accelerated by the staging of the FIFA World Cup.”
Valcke hailed the “fantastic final at the Maracana” in which Brazil thrashed world and European champions Spain 3-0 and praised the home fans for the atmosphere and “wave of passion.”
Ticket sales for the finals begin August 20 and Valcke was confident this would help focus “the intense effort of the organisers – the LOC, FIFA and particularly the host cities, states and the federal government – to ensure everything will be ready on time.”
A decision will be made in October on the venue for the standard team workshop with all the coaches and team managers next February. Favourite is Florianopolis in southern Brazil.