UK & World News

  • 11 June 2014, 5:44

World Cup: Brazil Ready 'On And Off The Pitch'

Brazil is ready for the World Cup and the "pessimists have been defeated by the determination of the people", its president has insisted.

Dilma Rousseff admitted that organising the event was tough but claimed all 12 stadiums were ready and fans would be greeted with "open arms".

"Brazil overcame the main obstacles and is ready on and off the pitch for the cup," she said in a nationally televised address.

Meanwhile, one of Fifa's senior officials in Brazil has robustly defended the country's spending on the event in the face of growing criticism over its cost.

A recent poll by the Pew Research Centre found nearly 61% of Brazilians think hosting the World Cup is a bad move as it takes money away from frontline services like hospitals and schools.

But the director of the organising committee Ricardo Trade says the cost to the country's public purse has been greatly exaggerated as most of the finance has come from private investors.

"We are showing to the world that we are not only here in Sao Paulo," he said.

"We have a lot of big and strong cities all around the country that are very hungry to show to the world that they have infrastructure."

But his words are likely to do little to lift the mood of the nation, which has yet to fully embrace the event.

People across the country are increasingly angry at the cost because public services are failing to deliver what Brazilians want.

In Rio De Janeiro even souvenir makers - who are hoping to cash in - are unimpressed.

Jonas, who has been making celebration bunting for the last few weeks, does not think the World Cup offers value for money.

"Nothing works properly like hospitals they've prioritised the World Cup instead but now it's here we'll have to do our best," he said.

 

 

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