Blatter back for Confeds semis,final: FIFA

23 June 2013 04:18

FIFA president Sepp Blatter will be in Brazil despite the social unrest sweeping the country to watch the semi finals and final of the Confederations Cup, world football's governing body said Sunday.

But spokesman Pekka Odriozola would not be drawn on when Blatter, who attended the opening match on June 15, would return to the country, saying only that "he will be there for the final week of the tournament".

"He will be here for the semi-finals," Odriozola told reporters. "It is normal he be here for the start and end of a tournament."

Blatter attended the opening match between the hosts and Japan in Brasilia alongside Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. But both were loudly booed by the crowd.

He then travelled to Turkey for the Under20 world championships.

Even before the Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for next year's World Cup, began protests had been held, starting in Sao Paulo and Rio over rises in public transport fares.

But they have spread nationwide and FIFA has itself come in for criticism amid a widespread feeling that the football is expensive jamboree which swallows money that would be better spent on creaking infrastructure.

FIFA has not confirmed if Blatter will attend a planned "Football for Hope" seminar in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday, the day of Brazil's semifinal in the city.

The organisation had previously indicated Blatter would be back in the country by Tuesday.

FIFA says Blatter meanwhile is "in constant touch" with his secretary general Jerome Valcke, who is on site in Brazil.

Valcke said Friday, one day after more than one million people marched in protests across the country, that the World Cup would still go ahead in Brazil next year.

"The Confederations Cup is taking place in Brazil and the World Cup must be held in Brazil. There is no plan B," he insisted.

Source: AFP