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Valcke: World Cup will benefit Brazil

Jerome Valcke

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has called for patience before assessing the impact of the World Cup in Brazil.

The governing body have come in for criticism ahead of next month's World Cup with many believing the tournament - estimated to have cost $11billion - will not provide any long-term benefits to a country that is struggling economically.

Alarmingly, an eighth worker lost their life in the Brazilian city of Cuiaba on Thursday as the nation rushes to be ready for the opening game on June 12.

But speaking to FIFA.com, Valcke believes football's showpiece event will benefit Brazil down the track, despite anti-World Cup campaigners claiming the money would have been better spent on improving the country's health and education.

"You cannot talk about the legacy at or right after the World Cup," he said. "You need few years to see what the legacy is.

"There are legacies at different levels. The first level is the football infrastructure. They will have a level of stadiums and training camps which are amazing. They have better facilities to play football than before.

"The stadiums that were used at the Confederations Cup welcome more fans, because the structure is nicer and have a higher standard of international football.

"Then you have the different cities. Those cities will have changed from the times when they received the organisation of the World Cup, to the time when they will have the games played in the city. There is a different level or urban mobility, accommodation and road network."

Valcke added: "In South Africa, the lives of the people in some of the cities have changed because those cities have invested a lot of money to change their infrastructure."

Valcke also leapt to the defence of FIFA, who have continued to be targeted by protestors ahead of the World Cup.

"When people are saying that we have put something into the World Cup that they could use for other projects, they're wrong," said the 54-year-old.

"When a country bids for a World Cup, it's not against the interest of the country. It is for the interest of the country.

"The World Cup is a way to speed up a number of investments in a country. It is easy to criticise FIFA, it's easy to use the Confederations Cup or World Cup to organise demonstrations.

"But the target is wrong if the target is that FIFA are the reason for what's happening in a country.

"If a country is bidding for a World Cup, it's with the idea of developing the country and not with the idea of destroying the country."

 

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