RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – FIFA President Sepp Blatter said soccer’s international governing body will give Brazil at least US$100 million of profits for hosting the 2014 World Cup.
FIFA gave South Africa US$100 million for projects after it hosted the 2010 World Cup.
But Blatter said FIFA’s “social fund” to Brazil could be even higher.
He also praised the soccer-crazed nation for hosting a successful Confederations Cup, which concluded on June 30 with Brazil defeating Spain, 3-0, in the final and Italy knocking off Uruguay in penalty kicks in the third-place game.
He said the stellar play on the field wasn’t overshadowed by the more than a million who protested nationwide against the government’s neglect of education and healthcare while it spends lavishly on the World Cup, among other issues.
Still, Blatter said he’s confident Brazil will be prepared to host the World Cup, when 32 teams and millions of fans descend on South America’s largest country. Brazil will be the first South American nation to host the World Cup since Argentina in 1978.
“As the president of FIFA, I have to say that, from an organizational point of view, when it comes to stadiums and the game of soccer, I am particularly happy with what has happened here,” he told reporters at a media conference in Brazil. “We were able to play in six practically brand new stadiums and we have received only compliments from the eight participants in this competition.”
Blatter also said Brazil distinguished itself as the host of the Confederations Cup.
“On the soccer field, it’s easy to say that it has been the best quality Confederations Cup we have ever organized,” he told reporters. “The matches were attractive … Naturally, the competition has been played in a situation where there was definitely social unrest with protests and manifestations, but I have to say finally that soccer has played a positive part here.”
Blatter continued: “It’s part of emotion and I would say soccer has connected people in the stadia. Perhaps unfortunately it also connected people in the street. I can understand this social unrest, absolutely. But on the other hand, football at this time brings to the whole continent of 200 million these emotions and hope. Soccer is going out of this competition with a clear message. Yes, it was a good competition and we are happy to be back here next year in the World Cup with 32 teams and 64 matches.”
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met with members of civil society after a week of discussions with elected officials, union and party leaders to finalize a proposed plebiscite on political reform she hopes to submit to Congress as early as July 2.
Blatter is confident that Brazil, which is home to the world’s seventh-largest economy, has the resources to host the World Cup. Rio de Janeiro also is hosting the 2016 Olympics.
“The aim of FIFA is not to take profit out of the country but to put into the country the necessary means and with other actions to make sure that this World Cup is a success,” he added. “We have to work together to have a legacy for this World Cup, not only the stadiums, but a legacy for the environment and for the social part. For FIFA, it is essential to have a successful World Cup because it’s practically the only income FIFA has to develop the game around the world.”