'Brazil protests won`t mar World Cup'

IANS| Updated: Feb 08, 2014, 17:30 PM IST

Rio de Janeiro: Former Brazil president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says the likelihood of widespread protests during the FIFA World Cup will not threaten the tournament`s success.

"Brazil is a democratic country and the people have the right to protest. Democracy isn`t a pact for silence; it`s a society that strives for victories," Lula said, reports Xinhua.

Mass anti-government rallies that began during last year`s Confederations Cup have continued in Brazil`s major cities. Many Brazilians are upset that public funds are being spent on World Cup stadia instead of essential services like health, education and transport.

"In many cities in the world there have been protests during World Cups and Olympics. That won`t stop Brazil from hosting the best World Cup," Lula added.

Football`s signature event will be held in 12 Brazilian cities from June 12 to July 13.