GOING, Austria — FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Brazil might have been the wrong choice as host of the 2014 World Cup if the tournament is affected by more social protests similar to those at the Confederations Cup.
Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets during the warmup tournament in June, demanding better public services and expressing their anger about the cost to stage the World Cup.
“If this happens again, we have to question whether we made the wrong decision awarding the hosting rights,” Blatter told German press agency DPA on Wednesday.
FIFA spoke with the Brazilian government after the Confederations Cup, and Blatter said he’ll discuss the issue again with Brazil president Dilma Rousseff.
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“We didn’t do a political debriefing, but we did emphasize the fact of this social unrest being there for the entire duration of the Confederations Cup,” he said. “The government is now aware that next year the World Cup shouldn’t be disturbed. To me, these protests were like alarm bells. … We are convinced the government, and especially the president, will find the words and the actions to prevent a repeat. They have a year to do so.”
Brazil’s sports ministry sent out a statement after Blatter’s comments.
“The success of the Confederations Cup proves Brazil is the correct choice to host the World Cup,” it said. “As for the demonstrations, Brazil is a democratic country that guarantees its citizens full freedom of expression.”
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