Blatter - Brazil 2014 we may have made a mistake

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said Brazil might have been the wrong choice as 2014 World Cup hosts if the tournament is affected by more social protests similar to those seen in June at the Confederations Cup.

Then furious Brazilians demonstrated in the streets in quite massive numbers, hundreds of thousands of them took part in fact. The protests deflected attention away from the football and brought  the problems they were raising to the attention of the world's media. They were demonstrating a unity of public opinion demanding better public services and also to express their anger and sheer frustration over the amount of money being spent to stage the World Cup in 2014.

"If this happens again, we have to question whether we made the wrong decision awarding the hosting rights," Blatter told the German press agency DPA yesterday.

After the Confederations Cup was concluded FIFA spoke with the Brazilian government and Blatter said he will discuss the issue once again with the Brazil President Dilma Rousseff in September.

"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. The government is now aware that next year the World Cup shouldn't be disturbed" he said.

"To me, these protests were like alarm bells for the government, the senate, the parliament. They should work on it so that this is not going to happen again. Though protests, if peaceful, are part of democracy and therefore have to be accepted ... 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."

Mr Blatter wants to brush things under the carpet  it seems, the images it draws up of oppression and not ones I want to dwell upon. His incredible attitude, democratic protests are acceptable but they mustn't happen, is hardly surprising given the way he managed to get himself re-elected to the FIFA presidency.

He was speaking at the start of a two-day conference on sports, media and economy in Austria which was arranged by one of football's greats, Franz Beckenbauer.

The Confederations Cup, which was won by Brazil when they thrashed Spain in the final, was a focal point for an angry public who were voicing their displeasure with the billions spent on tournaments (they are also hosting the 2016 Rio Olympics) while they are forced to endure underfunded schools and hospitals.

The protests were originally organized by university students but they spread across the country to Confederations Cup host cities, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza and Belo Horizonte.

"It's not we who have to learn lessons from the protests in Brazil - politics in Brazil have to do that," continued Blatter, adding that "FIFA cannot be held responsible" for social problems in the country.

"The decision for Brazil was the best decision we could make. It was the correct decision, we stick to this decision."

''First we have to complete the reforms, which are three-quarters done. I'll then have to deliver the World Cup ... the way the world looks now, I'll say yes or no (to standing again) at the next congress in Sao Paulo in 2014.

"FIFA should be taken over by someone who can take over a FIFA which is not just financially healthy, which it is now, but which also has credibility."

You have to admire the man's humour and total blindness to the truth. What credibility was he speaking of I wonder because as far as I am aware it is viewed as a corrupt organisation, who think takings bungs to decide votes in acceptable behaviour in a democratic society.



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