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.
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".
More top news
David Davis is hoping to push Brexit withdrawal talks towards discussions on a future trading relationship between the UK and EU.
A fine start to Sunday but rain moves in from the southwest later on.
A second police officer has died after he and a colleague were shot as they scuffled with a suspect in Florida.