Protest-hit Confederations Cup 'Best Ever' - Blatter

Despite being played against a backdrop of huge and frequently violent demonstrations, the 2013 Confederations Cup has been the “best ever”, FIFA president Sepp Blatter declared on Friday.
The Brazilian national team tackle Spain in the final on Sunday, but the tournament is likely to be remembered for coinciding with the worst social unrest in Brazil for 20 years.

The host country has been rocked by nationwide street protests for more than two weeks, as hundreds of thousands of citizens demand better social services and an end to rampant corruption.
They are also questioning why the country is investing $15 billion (11.5 million euros) in the Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup when social programmes such as education and health are underfunded.
Many protests have culminated in violent clashes between protesters and police, who have used tear gas and rubber bullets, but Blatter said football had risen above the trouble.
“When we have a look on the pitch of football, it was easy to say that it was the best Confederations Cup that we have ever organised,” he said during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
“The tournament was played in a situation where there was definitely social unrest, with protests and manifestations, but finally, the football has played a positive part here, by giving emotion.
“Definitely football is going out from this competition with a clear message: yes, it was a good competition, and we are happy to be back here next year in the FIFA World Cup with the 32 teams and 64 matches.”

“It is a question of trust and confidence, in the government, but also in the population of Brazil, because they like football.
“You have seen in the Gallup poll, 71 percent of people, even during this unrest, say they want to have the World Cup, so I’m sure next year’s World Cup will be a success.”



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