Prosecutors launch World Cup court action against FIFA

IANS| Last Updated: Oct 23, 2013, 14:51 PM IST

Rio de Janeiro: Public prosecutors in Brazil have requested an injunction demanding FIFA pay USD 550 million in World Cup logistics costs.

The public prosecutors` office, known as the Ministerio Publico Federal (MPF), said in a statement that court papers had been filed Tuesday. The sum reflects the cost of temporary broadcasting and telecommunications structures needed for the 2014 World Cup.

Prosecutors allege the facilities are the responsibility of FIFA as they will be used for a private event and do not leave a legacy for Brazil`s population.

"Is there public interest in the payment of these services if FIFA is the only holder of broadcast rights and sells them for millions of dollars? They do not bring any improvements for the country or its citizens," MPF said.

According to the statement, the amount being sought represents scaffolding, fences, walkways, lighting, cables, furniture and divisions that will be dismounted after the June 12-July 13 competition. Prosecutors have also demanded compensation of USD 15 million for "costs assumed by the government" during the Confederations Cup in June.

FIFA was not available for comment.

MPF said the court action had followed recommendations made by the organ`s World Cup working group. The request comes amid continued anti-government protests in Brazil`s major cities that began during the Confederations Cup.

A common feature of the rallies has been widespread anger that large sums of public money are being spent on the World Cup instead of vital services like education, health care and transport.