Valcke flags changes to FIFA World Cup bidding

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 22 (IANS) FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says future World Cup hosts could be forced to secure legislative backing before having their candidacy approved.

Valcke said Wednesday that FIFA had learned from difficulties in Brazil, where public spending on next year's World Cup was a major cause for mass protests in June, reports Xinhua.

"Before Brazil's proposal was sent to FIFA, they could have voted (on it) in congress and that might be done in the future. It would be national support rather than just a bid sent by a federation with government guarantees," Valcke said, adding that his opinion was personal and did not represent that of FIFA.

Brazil was chosen to host the World Cup in 2007 under FIFA's now-defunct rotational system of continents. It was the only candidate after Argentina and Colombia withdrew their bids.

Valcke refuted claims that Brazil's June protests reflected widespread opposition to football's showpiece event.

"Brazilians love football and support football. If I'm asked if there will be protests, I think there will. What I do know is that the World Cup is a platform for demonstrations but the majority of Brazilians will gather at the fan fests and public exhibition events. If we have the same success of the Confederations Cup multiplied by what a World Cup represents, it will be a great World Cup," Valcke said.

Valcke criticised Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes, who has accused FIFA of being more concerned about stadiums than public infrastructure projects.

"If he (Paes) has not yet understood the legacy of the World Cup, I'm speechless. Maybe he should just look at the Olympics and forget about the World Cup," Valcke said.

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