Brazil president defends cost of World Cup on eve of tournament

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has defended the cost of hosting the World Cup on the eve of the competition starting. She also vowed to punish corruption and urged her compatriots to give visiting fans a warm welcome, during a television address.

President: No 'false dilemma' of World Cup or services

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff rejected the "false dilemma" that spending money on the World Cup meant investments in health, education and other public services would be hit.

A boy wrapped in Brazilian national flag stands in front of policemen. Credit: Reuters\Damir Sagolj

In a television address ahead of the World Cup starting tomorrow, Ms Rousseff said the country had spent 212 times as much on health and schools than it has on sport arenas.

On the decision to host football's premier competition, she said: "We did this, above all, for Brazilians".

She added that investment in stadiums, airports and other infrastructure would provide the country with long-term benefits and would not "leave in suitcases along with the tourists".

Read: Footballer baby names may double 'with World Cup win'

Brazil president defends decision to host World Cup

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has defended the decision to host the World Cup, which has been heavily criticised in the country, and said the South American nation was ready for football's premier competition.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Credit: ED FERREIRA/DPA

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Ms Rousseff defended the cost of hosting the competition, vowed to punish corruption and urged compatriots to give visiting fans a warm welcome, in a television address.

The World Cup is set to kick-off tomorrow, with the host nation opening the tournament with their match against Croatia, and the president claimed "the pessimists" had been defeated by the determination of the Brazilian people.

She also rejected criticism that the country had overspent on the World Cup - which is set to cost close to £6.6 billion - saying the tournament would leave a lasting legacy.

Read: Footballer baby names may double 'with World Cup win'

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