News Column

Brazil Cup 'Spectacular' Despite Protests, FIFA President Says

Jun 28 2013 6:11PM

The Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup has been a "spectacular competition" despite ongoing protests, FIFA President Joseph Blatter said Friday.

"There was a lot of intensity, there was a lot of uncertainty, and there were a lot of goals, which is what people like," Blatter said in Rio de Janeiro.

Two days ahead of the Confed Cup final between Brazil and Spain in Rio's legendary Maracana, Blatter was generally pleased with the tournament, which serves as a sort of dress rehearsal for the World Cup a year later.

"The test has been successful," he said.

However, Blatter warned against complacency going into the World Cup, which is "another dimension."

Protests started two two weeks ago over Brazil's public spending on stadiums and other infrastructure for the Confed Cup and the World Cup, with demands that the money be spent on social needs including health and education.

"I can understand this social unrest," Blatter said.

He said that FIFA's goal is "not to take profits out of the country but to help the country with all necessary means to make sure this World Cup is a success."

Blatter reminded demonstrators that, as host, Brazil had accepted responsibilities beyond its own self-interest. "When a country has been chosen to organize a World Cup, it is not a World Cup for this country. It is a World cup for everybody."

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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