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Blatter: Brazil over worst protests

2 July 2013 03:44

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has attempted to downplay protests against the World Cup in Brazil following the Confederations Cup.

While conceding there were concerns about Brazil's ability to get ready for next year's World Cup finals at the start of the Confederations Cup, Blatter argued he is optimistic about the 2014 tournament.

Blatter argued the protesters are now 'resting' despite up to 5,000 people having marched in protest to Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium before Sunday's Confederations Cup final.

"Thanks to all those who have helped to make this competition such a success despite... all this unrest and protests," Blatter said on Monday.

"I am happy to come to the conclusion now, with the sporting results and also, with at least the impression that, the social unrest is now resting.

"I don't know how long but it is now resting."

Blatter seemed to reaffirm his commitment to holding the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, claiming he was looking forward to returning to the South American country in December for the draw, while the 77-year-old FIFA president tried to play down the Brazilian public's protests.

Protesters have generally been frustrated by the Brazilian government's commitment to building new football stadiums instead of improving the lives of the country's population by investing in health, education and social infrastructure.

But Blatter argued 'you cannot make everybody happy'.

"I am looking forward with optimism to next year but before that we will be back because we will have the group draw in December, Salvador, we will have a meeting with our executive committee to have direct contact with the government," Blatter said.

"By this time everybody will have made their de-briefings and from that point we can look forward.

"Like the Confederations Cup, (the World Cup) is more than just a competition.

"It is the cup of the champions, next year we will have the World Cup, after that is the Olympic Games (in Rio de Janeiro in 2016).

"You cannot make everybody happy, we try to make the maximum number of people in the country happy by saying that football brings to you not only entertainment but emotions and hope."

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