PORTO ALEGRE: One of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s top advisers has admitted that the government had blundered in failing to “sell” the World Cup to its own people.

Gilberto Carvalho, Minister in the presidency, office said in Porto Alegre – one of the World Cup host cities – that this failure had opened the door for the opposition and media to portray the finals as “a disaster.”

Carvalho was attending a debate about the tournament with local pressure groups in Porto Alegre which is one of the cities worst hit by stadium construction delays.

He said: “We realise now that we failed badly by not investing more time, effort and money in on communication. We did not inform people about the World Cup means, overall, to the entire nation.”

Addressing the expected World Cup street protests, Carvalho said that any demonstrations should involve people with points to make  “over real facts” and merely government opponents hijacking demos for their own political ends.

A great deal of criticism has come Brazil’s way because of the infrastructure projects supporting the hosting will not be completed in time for the finals which open in June.

Disregarding the interests of foreign fans and tourism organisatons, he said that such delays “do not matter,” adding: “The important thing is that they will be finished eventually. If not in June, then in November, December.”

World Cup benefits, he said, would include international exposure, job creation and tourism growth.