Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2014 World Cup: Brazil is ready - President Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff says her country is ready, on and off the pitch, for the 2014 World Cup which starts on Thursday.

In a TV address, she said "the pessimists" had been defeated by the determination of the Brazilian people.

She rejected criticism of overspending, saying that the
tournament would leave a lasting legacy of infrastructure.

Brazil has seen a year of protests against bad governance and perceived excessive spending on the World Cup.

Metro strikes are also threatening to disrupt the opening game in Sao Paulo and the final in Rio de Janeiro.

President Rousseff said that visitors.would not be taking away infrastructure projects "in their suitcases", which would instead, remain in the country as a benefit for everyone.

She defended the $11bn expenditure on the tournament, calling it a "false dilemma" that World Cup spending somehow diminished investments in health and education.

"Rest assured of this, the World Cup accounts are being meticulously scrutinised by the country's auditing institutions," she said.

The World Cup will kick off on Thursday with a match between the hosts Brazil and Croatia at the Itaquerao stadium, or Arena.Corinthians, in the outskirts of Sao Paulo.

However, work is still continuing to prepare the stadium ahead of the opening match.

Meanwhile. union leaders are threatening to resume a metro strike in Sao Paulo during the tournament if their demands are not met.

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