Updated: Tuesday, 13 May 2014 02:30 | By Agence France-Presse

FIFA are a creative force not destructive -- Valcke

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said Monday the game's global governing body did not deserve criticism for its role in organizing the event in Brazil saying that they were not out to destroy a country but do quite the opposite.


FIFA are a creative force not destructive -- Valcke

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke adjusts his glasses during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 25, 2014 - by Vanderlei Almeida

Brazil has struggled to overhaul creaking public services and the hosts have dropped a slew of urban mobility schemes in order to meet the June 12 kickoff, while racing against the clock to finalise stadium preparations.

Brazilians have held numerous protests against the cost of staging the event -- more than $11 billion -- in the belief the cash would be better directed at overhauling health, education and public transport.

Protesters have meanwhile repeatedly blamed FIFA for imposing its norms for the 12 venues and for issues such as rising rentals in areas near swanky multi-million dollar stadiums.

Valcke, who also told French radio later on Monday he would stay on in his role only if FIFA president Sepp Blatter is elected to a fifth term next year, said the criticism was unfair.    

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

"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."

Valcke stressed that the physical legacy of a tournament would only become clear years after the event, but hailed the example of South Africa in 2010 as proof of the gains to flow from hosting the tournament. 

"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 told FIFA's website.

Valcke admitted last week that FIFA had been through "hell" regarding preparations in having to liaise with three levels of government in Brazil.

But he insisted Monday that fans would enjoy "a great tournament" and added that "security in and around the stadiums is no issue.

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