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Brazil says it's the right choice for 2014 World Cup

Published July 18, 2013 2:49 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rio de Janerio • Brazil's government defended the country as host of the 2014 World Cup on Thursday, a day after FIFA President Sepp Blatter warned that recent protests meant it might have been the wrong choice.

More than one million people took to the streets during last month's Confederations Cup — the warm-up for the World Cup — angry at Brazil's poor public services, contrasted with almost $14 billion spent on the World Cup.

About the same amount will be spent on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"The success of the Confederations Cup proves the correct choice of Brazil to host the World Cup," the sports ministry said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Speaking in Austria, Blatter said Wednesday if the protesters returned next year during the World Cup, FIFA would have to consider whether it made a mistake by giving the tournament to Brazil. Protests took place at all six Confederations Cup cities.

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

FIFA has verified Blatter's comments were accurate.

FIFA has acknowledged it spoke with Brazilian officials after the Confederations Cup final, which closed with police and soldiers firing tear gas, shock bombs and rubber bullets to keep thousands of protesters away from the Maracana stadium. Brazil defeated Spain 3-0 in the final with tear gas wafting through the stadium during the first half.