Insecurity and fears of a repeat of demonstrations last year involving hundreds of thousands of people have bedeviled the buildup to the World Cup already hit by stadium delays.
     
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says Brazil has social problems and that new demonstrations cannot be ruled out but that people are wrong to say the USD 11 billion cost is a waste of money.
     
"When people are saying that we have put something into the World Cup that they could use for other projects, they're wrong," Valcke said on FIFA.com.
     
"The World Cup is a way to speed up a number of investments in a country.      

"It is easy to criticise FIFA, it's easy to use the Confederations Cup or World Cup to organise demonstrations.
     
"But the target is wrong if the target is that FIFA are the reason for what's happening in a country. If a country is bidding for a World Cup, it's with the idea of developing the country and not with the idea of destroying the country."
     
Anti-Cup protests have faded in recent months. But left wing and anarchist groups, who say the money could be better spent on health and education, have vowed to hold demonstrations during the World Cup which runs from June 12 until July 13. The uncertainty worries many, alongside doubts about preparations.
     
The government will mobilise unprecedented security for the World Cup, deploying a record 170,000 police, troops and private security personnel during the World Cup. Yet there has been an upsurge of social unrest in Rio de Janeiro, which will host seven World Cup matches, including the final.
     
The killing of a dancer last month in a slum area near the main tourist drag at Copacabana Beach sparked violent protests amid residents' claims the police were responsible for the death.
     
Since the start of the year, seven police units in so-called "pacified" Rio slums have been attacked in violence blamed on drug trafficking gangs. Six police officers have died.

(Agencies)

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