Romario: FIFA are the real president of Brazil
By Chris Donald
Former Brazil striker Romario has commented that Fifa are “the real president of Brazil”, saying the amount spent of stadiums is wrong.
Romario, who lead the Seleção attack in the 1994 World Cup triumph, is now a congressman and explained that Brazil had spent more than twice as much as Germany and South Africa on hosting the World Cup, reports SuperSport.
He said: “That is taking the p***.
“It’s taking the p*** with our money, with the public’s money, it’s a lack of respect, a lack of scruples.”
The 47-year-old said the money spent so far was enough to provide 8,000 new schools, 39,000 school buses or 28,000 sports courts in the country.
The Confederations Cup, which is considered a warm up event from next year’s World Cup, has been focal point of a wave of nationwide protests with the amount spent on the stadiums being high up on the demonstrator’s grievances.
The World Cup will be staged in 12 stadiums, either built from scratch or completely refurbished. Brazil is spending around 28 billion reais ($12.9 billion) on the event.
On Fifa, Romario made his feelings known and said: “The real president of our country is Fifa.
“Fifa comes to our country and sets up a state within a state.
“Fifa will make a profit of four billion reais which should provide one billion in tax, but they will not pay anything. They come, set up the circus, they don’t spend anything and they take everything with them.”
Brazil’s Congress has passed a bill, which exempts Fifa from paying tax on profits in Brazil. It was one of the conditions Fifa made when Brazil was awarded the right to stage the event.
“Since Brazil was awarded the World Cup in 2007, things have gone off the rails,” Romario added.
“The budgets that were made for stadiums, airports and urban mobility were all wrong, and it’s the people who pay the bill.”