After investing 1.9 billion reais ($792 million) in upgrading its security capabilities, Brazil can guarantee that the 2014 World Cup will be free of threats to public order, President Dilma Rousseff said.
“We will open our arms to receive in the best possible way - with hospitality, comfort and safety - the visitors, fans, athletes and professionals who will be in Brazil both for the World Cup and for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” she said in an interview published Tuesday.
Security command-and-control centers have been set up in every city that is to host World Cup matches or Olympic events, the president told Meia Norte newspaper.
Rousseff did not mention the protests that erupted around Brazil last June as the country was hosting the Confederations Cup soccer tourney.
The demonstrations, which were sparked by increases in transit fares in major cities, became a platform for criticism of the quality of public services as well as complaints about the sums being spent in preparation for the World Cup and the Olympics.
FIFA’s secretary-general, Jerôme Valcke, said Monday in Brasilia that he was confident Brazilian police would be able to deal with any contingencies that might arise during the World Cup.
Police “will have to do their job,” the head of soccer’s world governing body said. “The public has the right to see the matches.”
Playing host to global sporting extravaganzas offers Brazil “an historic opportunity” to speed up planned investments in infrastructure, Rousseff said in the interview with Meia Norte, citing plans to spend 143 billion reais ($59.58 billion) to improve mobility in urban areas.