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No Plan B for Brazil’s World Cup – FIFA

No Plan B for Brazil’s World Cup – FIFA

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FIFA on Monday maintained there is no ‘Plan B’ to host the 2014 World Cup in another country, as world football’s governing body and Brazilian government officials moved to hit back at criticism of the cost of next year’s tournament.

FIFA on Monday maintained there is no ‘Plan B’ to host the 2014 World Cup in another country, as world football’s governing body and Brazilian government officials moved to hit back at criticism of the cost of next year’s tournament.

The announcements came with the ongoing Confederations Cup being played out amidst nationwide protests, with the cost of stadium development for the World Cup one of a number of areas of concern for protestors. Speaking at a press conference, Brazil’s Sports Minister, Aldo Rebelo, noted media reports that the United States, England, Germany and Japan had all put themselves forward as potential replacement destinations for the World Cup should Brazil lose the hosting rights. However, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke moved to reject such a suggestion. “I have never received any official offer from any other countries around the world to stage the World Cup in 2014,” said Valcke, according to Reuters. He added: “The World Cup will be played in Brazil in 12 cities. There is no Plan B.”

Protests concerning stadium development have centred on the level of public spending on the venues following guarantees in 2007 that they would be entirely privately funded. Rebelo reiterated that the World Cup would not be staged at the expense of Brazilians’ health and education. “None of the money earmarked for health and education has been diverted to the building of World Cup stadiums,” he said. Rebelo said that the government’s budget for health and education this year was R177 billion (US$79.4 billion). “The sports ministry’s budget is 1% of that and includes money spent on the World Cup,” he said, adding that 24,500 jobs been created in Brazil at the six Confederations Cup stadia in the fields of construction, engineering and telecommunications.

Valcke moved to tackle the belief that FIFA is harvesting the profits from the World Cup without investing anything itself. “People think we come in, we enjoy the country and run away, without paying tax or creating anything,” said Valcke. He maintained that FIFA would have costs of around $672.7 million to host the event, including accommodation for all 32 participating teams. “I’m not ashamed of what we’re going (as) we’re doing good things for Brazil,” he stated. Highlighting the importance of the World Cup for the game as a whole, Valcke added: “We have 20 competitions in a four-year cycle and the World Cup is the only one of them which make money. We have duties, responsibilities, programmes we are supporting.”