ZURICH: FIFA has rebutted criticism of its management of the World Cup finals in Brazil by the Swiss think-tank Solidar writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Solidar, in a report based on research work by the Heinrich Boll Institute, had blamed the world federation for just about everything short of the quality of the football.

In general it echoed complaints by some Brazilian politicians before the finals that the finals would leave only a negative legacy in terms of financial balance and infrastructure.

Those politicians, such as former World Cup-winner Romario, were largely silenced by the on-the-ground success of the finals (with the exception, of course, of Brazil’s own national team).

Germany not the only winners, insists FIFA

However a FIFA spokeswoman described the World Cup as having had “a positive impact for Brazil on and off the pitch.”

She added: “The country received massive international exposure with images of happy fans, smooth transportation and amazing images of the land and nature.

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and it is difficult to imagine that any PR campaign would have achieved such result.

Hosting demands

“Improved infrastructure and acquired skills and experience for several thousands of people working on the tournament are just some examples of the positive impact major sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup have on the host country.”

The latter point is attracting particular focus.

More and more cities and countries in Europe are questioning the hosting demands of mega events such as football’s World Cup and  European Championship as well as the International olympic Committee’s summer and winter Games.

The spokeswoman noted that commercial concerns over permissions for street vendors had been an issue not for FIFA but for the host cities along with rehousing decisions enforced by stadia developments.

She said: “The Sports Ministry and the host cities [told us] the stadium renovations or constructions had caused no evictions. The government informed [us] that fewer than 4,000 families in all 12 host cities were reallocated because of infrastructure improvements.”

Hosting the World Cup had “injected approximately $1.2bn into the Brazilian economy, according to a survey commissioned by Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism.”

Other FIFA factoids:

The Ministry of Tourism survey showed that 1m foreign visitors visited Brazil during the World Cup from 203 countries; 95pc of the foreign visitors said they intend to return;

Stadia building investment came from the Brazilian Development Bank as loans to be paid back; this investment served as a catalyst for jobs and development;

During the World Cup, the 21 busiest airports registered 17.8m passengers, far above 15.8m passengers in the same period in 2013. The airports were considered good or very good by 88pc of journalists working in the event; average flight delay rate was 7.46pc against 7.6pc in the European Union and 15pc in international flights

Brazilian micro and small enterprises and individual micro entrepreneurs totalling 43,910 generated around £2m in revenue related to the World Cup according to Sebrae (Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises);

. . . World Cup employment:

More than 50,000 temporary workers were employed directly/indirectly:

**   1,220 permanent workers or temporary workers employed by the LoC

**  Safety and security: 20,000 personnel trained and hired for security of delegations and supporters in official FIFA World Cup areas such as stadiums, official Training Sites, National Team Training Centres (TBCs) and official hotels

**  Catering services for staff and volunteers: 3,000 jobs

** Transport: approximately 3,145 indirectly employed drivers. Another 258 indirectly employed staff

**  Logistics: approximately 800 indirect employees

**  Protocol: 105 temporary employees to work in VIP and VVIP areas

Events: approximately 800 indirect Jobs created for the opening and closing ceremonies;

** 15,000 jobs created in stadium catering services

** 1,200 jobs created in merchandising at the stadia and official event locations;

** 17,000 people working in the area of Hospitality

800 agents from waste management cooperatives participated in the selective collection of recyclable waste;

. . . ticket prices:

** For Brazilians, group stage tickets started at USD 15 while final match tickets start at USD 82.50. Formula 1 in Brazil: USD 500; Rock in Rio 2013: USD 117

** The tickets in the cheapest category were below the average league match

** More than 500,000 tickets were made available at Cat 4 – the cheapest category

**  FIFA ensured access of local community to complimentary tickets: providing 50,000 for indigenous people and Bolsa Família recipients, 50,000 tickets were made available for construction workers, 10,000 were made available for other social initiatives

. . . the finances:

FIFA used privately generated revenue of about $4.5bn for the period 2011-2014 to finance the organisation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 29 other events as well as various development programmes (FIFA invests daily USD 550,000 for development project);

of the about $4.5bn revenues about $2bn (final numbers not yet finalized) were invested in staging the 2014 FIFA World Cup; more than half of this figure was directly invested in the Brazilian economy through the hiring of local services

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