It is a race against time in Sao Paulo to get the building work finished. From the moment Brazil won the right to host football’s World Cup it has been a tale of construction woes and street protests.
But as excited fans count the hours before kick-off Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been defending the cost of staging the tournament.
“There are people who claim the resources for the Cup should have been directed to healthcare and education. I hear and respect those opinions, but I don’t agree with them. It’s a false dilemma.,” said President Rousseff adding, “From 2010 the amount invested in education and healthcare in Brazil has been 212 times more than the amount invested in the stadiums.”
But in Rio de Janeiro there was yet another protest.
The president of an NGO called “Rio de Paz” claimed the use of public funds was immoral:
“Billions of reals worth of taxes have been spent on this World Cup, in a country where children don’t have access to quality education, where people are dying because of a lack of treatment in public hospitals.The Brazilian people have been hurt …damaged in their inner beings and that’s why many aren’t getting involved in the World Cup,” said Antonio Cost.
The tournament which gets started on Thursday is the most expensive World Cup since the competition began 84 years ago.
President Rousseff who is seeking a second term in October is hoping Brazilian success on the pitch will finally win the country over.