Soccer News of Thu, 3 Jul 20141
Blatter declares the World Cup a 'great success'
The Fifa president said the tournament in Brazil had gone to plan and criticised those who feared protests and delays to stadium construction would ruin the competition
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has declared the World Cup in Brazil to be a "great success" and criticised those who feared that protests and infrastructure problems would ruin the tournament.
The build-up to football's biggest competition was marred by protests in the country over how much the Brazilian government were spending to host the tournament and numerous problems with construction work on the stadia and fan areas.
However, Blatter has hit back at critics and claims the reduction in protests since initial street demonstrations at the beginning of the tournament prove the success of the event.
"Everyone was wrong," Blatter told a seminar at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro where demonstrators protested on the issue of the World Cup costs.
"I'm not saying it's perfect. But everyone said that the stadiums wouldn't be ready on time. They're ready and today Brazil has stadiums which are works of art.
"Where are the protests? Where is the social rage?
"The World Cup is more than a success and I'm happy that Fifa is part of it."
The 78-year-old added: "There are still eight games [to go]. Fingers crossed that they will be on the same level and have the same atmosphere as the others."
Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke backed Blatter and admitted he was pleased with how exciting this summer's tournament in Brazil had been to watch.
"It's definitely the best World Cup when you are talking about football," he told SporTV.
"It's a fantastic World Cup."