Rio de Janeiro, July 18 — FIFA President Sepp Blatter said it may have been a mistake to choose Brazil to host next year’s World Cup.
His comments follow nationwide unrest during last month’s Confederations Cup in which hundreds of thousands of Brazilians expressed anger that public money was being spent on stadiums instead of vital services like health, transport and education, reports Xinhua.
Blatter said Wednesday he planned to raise his concerns with Brazil president Dilma Rousseff in September.
“If this happens again, we have to question whether we made the wrong decision awarding the hosting rights,” Blatter told German press agency DPA.
“The government is now aware that next year the World Cup shouldn’t be disturbed. To me, these protests were like alarm bells for the government, the senate, the parliament.
“They should work on it so that this is not going to happen again. Though protests, if peaceful, are part of democracy and therefore have to be accepted, we are convinced the government, and especially the president, will find the words and the actions to prevent a repeat. They have a year to do so.”
Meanwhile Blatter revealed he would ask the governing body’s executive committee to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter.
The request comes amid concerns for the safety of players and fans in summer temperatures that can reach 50 degrees celsius.
The move is expected to draw opposition from European leagues, which would require a major fixture overhaul to accommodate a winter tournament.