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FIFA says World Cup an unfair target

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO - Anti-World Cup campaigners in Brazil have threatened demonstrations during the showcase tournament next month but FIFA insists that it would be an unfair target.

Insecurity and fears of a repeat of demonstrations last year involving hundreds of thousands of people have bedevilled the buildup to the World Cup already hit by stadium delays.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says Brazil has social problems and that new demonstrations cannot be ruled out but that people are wrong to say the $US11billion ($F19billion) cost is a waste of money.

"When people are saying that we have put something into the World Cup that they could use for other projects, they're wrong," Valcke said on

"The World Cup is a way to speed up a number of investments in a country.

"It is easy to criticise FIFA, it's easy to use the Confederations Cup or World Cup to organise demonstrations.

"But the target is wrong if the target is that FIFA are the reason for what's happening in a country. If a country is bidding for a World Cup, it's with the idea of developing the country and not with the idea of destroying the country."

Anti-Cup protests have faded in recent months. But left wing and anarchist groups, who say the money could be better spent on health and education, have vowed to hold demonstrations during the World Cup which runs from June 12 until July 13.

The uncertainty worries many, alongside doubts about preparations.

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