(WFI) FIFA president Sepp Blatter hails the success of the World Cup, as fears over transport chaos, anti-government protests and security issues fail to tarnish the tournament.
Despite a troubled build-up to the competition, characterized by stadium delays and protests against the Brazilian government spending $11 billion on the World Cup, organisers have run a largely glitch-free tournament.
The Swiss told a sport management seminar in Rio on Wednesday that he was “a very happy man”. “It is a success of the country, of this game,” he was quoted by the AFP news agency.
“I would like to address my compliments to the people of Brazil. They accepted this World Cup,” he added.
Blatter cited the quality of the stadiums, high television ratings and no doping problems as reasons Brazil deserved praise..
“Let’s cross fingers, hoping that the last games will take place with the same pattern, the same atmosphere,” he said.
FIFA Questions Match-Fixing Report
FIFA has cast doubts on Der Spiegel’s claims that Cameroon’s 4-0 defeat to Croatia on June 18 was fixed.
World football’s governing body has asked the German news magazine for evidence to support its report that convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal accurately predicted the 4-0 win and that Cameroon would have a player sent off in the first half. However, Perumal denies he made the predictions.
“The article has put the integrity of FIFA World Cup matches in question, which is a serious allegation,” FIFA director of security Ralf Mutschke said in a statement.
FIFA says it has not received any information of suspicious betting patterns for any of the 56 World Cup games that have so far been played.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
Your best source of news about the global football business is World Football INSIDER