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Blatter plays down impact of Brazil protests

29 June 2013 04:19

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists the governing body's reputation has been strengthened by the Confederations Cup.

The tournament has been marred by protests that have spread across the country with people dissatisfied at the lack of importance placed on public services by the Brazilian government.

While Blatter admitted he had sympathy for the protestors, he believes football is playing a positive role in helping to deal with the social unrest.

"FIFA has come out of this stronger, with our image enhanced. Football has played a positive part here and given emotion," Blatter said.

"Naturally the competition has been played now in a situation where there was definitely the social unrest with protests.

"But I have to say that finally the football has played its part, a positive part here and it is a part of emotion and I would say when we say football connects people it has connected people in the stadium perhaps unfortunately also connected people in the street.

"I can understand this social unrest, absolutely, I can understand it.

"But, on the other hand, football brings at this time to the whole continent, because Brazil is a continent, these emotions and hope that the cabinet can change something."

Blatter was also quick to point out that the social issues in Brazil are not FIFA's problem to deal with, reiterating his confidence that the South American country will have no issues in hosting the 2014 World Cup.

"This is not our problem, it is a political problem, but we hope something will be changed so that by the time the World Cup begins next summer we can have a platform to deliver it," he said.

"I can say there was never ever a doubt in FIFA concerning this competition. We have patience, trust and confidence in the government."

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