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FIFA expecting World Cup protests

The World Cup may well be a target next year for demonstrations in Brazil against corruption and poor public services, but FIFA should not be held responsible, according to general secretary Jerome Valcke.

The presence of the world’s media made the World Cup “an easy platform to express concern and organize demonstrations,” he said.

June’s Confederations Cup, a two-week dry run for the 2014 finals, was overshadowed by huge demonstrations, catching both authorities and world football’s governing body on the hop.

“I think it is too easy to put the blame of what happened in the streets in Brazil in June on FIFA or the World Cup saying why are spending so much money on a football tournament and not spending it somewhere else.”

Indeed it is easy. The reason it is easy is because Brazil will spend $13 billion on the renovation of football stadiums for the tournament – many of which look likely to be white elephants come July 2014. The return for the stretched taxpayer will be minimal. FIFA, meanwhile, expects to rake in $4billion tax free from next year’s finals. Profits will run into hundreds of millions of dollars. No wonder the country is up in arms.

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