FIFA: No speeches at World Cup opener

Rio de Janeiro, March 12: World football’s governing body FIFA will refrain from speeches at the World Cup opening ceremony June 12 amid fears of jeering by Brazilians.

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff were booed by fans in Brasilia last June before the opening Confederations Cup match between Brazil and Japan.

In the ensuing days, mass protests swept Brazil’s major cities as Brazilians voiced their anger at the years of government corruption and the high public cost of staging the World Cup, reported Xinhua.

“We are going to carry out the opening ceremony in a way that doesn’t involve speeches,” Blatter was quoted saying by Brazilian news service Valor Economico Tuesday.

The World Cup opening ceremony at Sao Paulo’s Itaquerao stadium will be immediately proceeded by the tournament’s first match between Brazil and Croatia.

The government has already announced plans to deploy military forces and private guards to provide added security during the event.

IANS