Brazilian president insists World Cup spending is under control
By Football News
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has defended the amount of public money spent on preparing the country for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The level of spending ahead of the tournament has been one of many issues that have seen protests across the country in recent days, causing security concerns for the FIFA Confederations Cup as well as next year's showpiece event.
Squads currently in Brazil have been told not to leave their hotels and have received police escorts to and from the grounds for training and matches. Around one million people reportedly took to the streets of Rio, where next year's World Cup final is due to be held, to protest at the amount of money being put aside to ensure they are ready for the tournament.
FIFA have insisted they have no intention of stopping the current tournament or taking next year's competition from Brazil, and Rousseff, who had not previously addressed the population regarding their protests, moved to reassure Brazilian citizens that any money spent on the building of stadiums from the public purse will be repaid.
"With regard to the World Cup, I want to clarify that the federal money spent on the stadiums is in the form of financing that will be duly repaid by the companies and governments that are exploiting these stadiums," she said.
"I would never allow these funds to come out of the federal public budget or to damage priority sectors such as health and education.
"In fact, we have strongly expanded spending in health and education, and we will expand it more and more. I trust that the National Congress will approve the bill I presented that ensures that all oil royalties are spent exclusively on education.
"It is also imperative that I mention a very important topic that has to do with our Brazilian soul and our manners. Brazil, the only country to have participated in every World Cup and a five-time world champion, has always been very well received everywhere.
"We must give our friends the same generous welcome we have received from them - with respect, love and joy. This is how we must treat our guests. Football and sport are symbols of peace and peaceful coexistence among peoples. Brazil deserves to, and will, host a great World Cup."
The majority of the protests have been peaceful, but some had seen violence and Rousseff was quick to address any concerns that Brazil would not be a safe place for football fans to visit.
"This violence, promoted by a small minority, cannot tarnish a peaceful and democratic movement," she added.
"We cannot live with such violence, which shames Brazil. All institutions and public safety bodies have the obligation to curb, within the limits of law, all forms of violence and vandalism."
The Confederations Cup group stage concludes on Sunday with the final scheduled for June 30 in Rio.