Valcke: Brazil better for football tournaments
By Football News
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has hit back at claims the 2014 World Cup will not benefit Brazil.
There have been some protests in Brazil at the spending of public money on hosting both the 2013 Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup but Valcke believes the legacy of the two football tournaments will not be properly measurable for 20 years.
Speaking after the opening four matches of the Confederations Cup, Valcke claimed the World Cup will not only improve football facilities in Brazil but is already modernising the South American country's day-to-day infrastructure.
"The legacy is something which is more than just after the World Cup, it is for the next 20 years of the country," Valcke said.
"The legacy is mainly about the change of infrastructure in the country which will be done for the World Cup and help the day-to-day life of the people in the 12 cities.
"You see already in Rio and the other cities we will improve all the facilities by organising the World Cup for the fans and the teams in Brazil and for the quality of football around the country.
"There are two different levels, one legacy at the football level which is very important for us because our role is to develop football all around the world and the second part is what the country and the change in the country which will move the country from one level to the next one.
"It is exactly what has happened in South Africa, South Africa before and after the World Cup were two different countries."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter dismissed suggestions Brazil will fail to be ready for next year's World Cup finals, claiming: "They are ready to host the World Cup because they are here for the Confederations Cup."
And Valcke backed his FIFA colleague, despite the late completion of stadiums in Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Recife in the lead-up to the Confederations Cup.
In fact, having held matches in the last three stadiums over the past two days, Valcke believes the experience at the Confederations Cup shows why Brazil will be ready for next year's tournament.
"I think what we have seen and showcased over the last two days which were games being played in the three most difficult stadiums being the ones which were very late delivered to FIFA," Valcke said.
"That showed it was working and it is working because all Brazilians are involved in the organising committee the government and the volunteers in the cities have been working very hard over the last months and that is the result.
"I have to admit and say what we have seen over the last two days is amazing and the best for the tournament and Brazil."