Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s general secretary, has warned Brazil of the increasing crime rate in cities like São Paulo and also stressed on the need of more infrastructure ahead of the 2014 football World Cup.
Valcke, overseeing progress on delivering the World Cup in Brazil, has highlighted a lack of hotels for the estimated 500.000 overseas visitors, but he also said that FIFA and the Brazilian football authorities now had a much better relationship.
Valcke had angered Brazilian officials in the past by suggesting that the stadiums would not be ready, but now he believes the risk of delay has moved on to such matters as the necessary number of hotels and vital improvements to airports and public transport.
“We are seeing a big wave of crime in São Paulo, which is not good for its image or tourism” Valcke insisted.
“In one unnamed city there are 17,000 hotel bedrooms and a 45,000 capacity stadium [for the World Cup],” he added.
“But we have now moved from talking about the problems to talking about the solutions. We are able to find and answer the problems,” he said.
Brazil is spending 15 billion dollars on infrastructure for the World Cup, which includes everything from the 12 new or renovated stadiums, to new bus lanes and airport extensions.
However rampant crime in Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo remains a challenge particularly with the wave of homicides, which have cost the lives of almost a hundred members of the police in their fight against organized crime and drug dealers.
The situation has seen the city’s security chief sacked and all main chiefs of police removed with the promise of a more efficient and coordinated effort between the city and the federal government.
The fact that the ruling Workers party gained control of the city in the last municipal elections should make support more fluid.
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