‘Don’t see World Cup as Brazil’s ‘sal­va­tion’- Ron­ald

Daily Trust - - SPORT - Ron­aldo De­lima

Brazil­ian foot­ball leg­end Ron­aldo De­lima has warned his com­pa­tri­ots that the up­com­ing World Cup could not solve the coun­try’s deep­rooted so­cial prob­lems.

Ron­aldo, a mem­ber of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-win­ning side and a mem­ber of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee said only politi­cians could prop­erly ad­dress is­sues such as poor pub­lic ser­vices and crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture.

“Brazil­ians hope the World Cup will prove the sal­va­tion of our coun­try, with im­prove­ments in ed­u­ca­tion, health and se­cu­rity. It will bring ben­e­fits but will not re­solve our prob­lems,” Ron­aldo told a fo­rum in Sao Paulo.

The World Cup’s $11 bil­lion price tag has fu­eled pub­lic anger in Brazil, the scene of mas­sive protests dur­ing last year’s Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup, a World Cup dress re­hearsal.

More re­cent protests have been smaller, but some have ended in vi­o­lence and anti-Cup cam­paign­ers have promised more un­rest when the World Cup kicks off on June 12 with Brazil tak­ing on Croa­tia in Sao Paulo.

Brazil­ian lead­ers in­di­cated when the coun­try was awarded the tour­na­ment seven years ago that the event would be a cat­a­lyst for up­grad­ing poor trans­port and ur­ban mo­bil­ity.

But many planned projects have fallen by the way­side whereas 12 high-tech sta­di­ums have been built, some in cities with no foot­balling tra­di­tion.

Fur­ther­more, sev­eral sta­di­ums, in­clud­ing Sao Paulo and Cu­ritiba, will only be ready at the last minute and pro­tes­tors have slated the high cost amid ev­i­dence some were over-priced.

“I am against over-charg­ing of works and sta­di­ums, I am against cor­rup­tion,” Ron­aldo in­sisted.

“I have not done the au­dit­ing, nor signed the con­tracts.

“I hope the pop­u­la­tion ask ever more of our politi­cians. People are fed up with what is hap­pen­ing in the coun­try,” in­sisted the for­mer Barcelona, In­ter Mi­lan and Real Madrid striker, all-time top scorer at World Cup fi­nals with 15 goals.

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