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Volume 6 No. 212
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FIFA's Jerome Valcke Defends Fan Fests After Brazil City Reneged On $4.7M Event

FIFA "has defended the fan fests" due to take place in the 12 host cities at this year's World Cup in Brazil, saying that income raised from the events "can cover the costs of holding them," according to Andrew Downie of REUTERS. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke wrote in Wednesday's edition of the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, "FIFA has worked in close cooperation with the host cities to guarantee that costs will be kept to a minimum. The cost of organising a 32-day fan fest is, in many cases, less than what is spent on New Year's celebrations, or Carnival, or regional festivals." Valcke said FIFA was giving "significant financial help" in providing infrastructure for the events, "including big screens, stages, and lighting, and the celebrations would provide priceless international exposure." Valcke's response came a fortnight after the city of Recife "reneged on a plan" to invest at least 11M Brazilian reais ($4.7M) in setting up a fan fest (REUTERS, 2/26).

CYBER THREAT: REUTERS' Esteban Israel reported Brazilian hackers "are threatening to disrupt the World Cup with attacks ranging from jamming websites to data theft, adding cyber warfare to the list of challenges for a competition already marred by protests, delays and overspending." In a country "with rampant online crime, a challenging telecommunications infrastructure and little experience with cyber attacks, authorities are rushing to protect government websites and those of FIFA" (REUTERS, 2/26).