FIFA president Sepp Blatter responded Friday to criticism of the cost of staging the World Cup in Brazil by pledging to give at least $100 million from profits back to the country.
Soccer’s governing body gave South Africa $100 million to invest in development projects after the 2010 World Cup, but it had not previously said it would establish a similar “social fund” after the 2014 tournament for Brazil.
The Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up event, has been marred by protesters denouncing billions of dollars spent to host that event and the World Cup — money some say should be going toward improving public services.
“We have left a legacy (in South Africa), a special fund of $100 million. ... I am sure an amount like that, or even higher, will be possible to have here,” Blatter said.
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“The aim from FIFA is not to take profit out of the country, but to put into the country,” he added.
ZUSI STAYING WITH KC
Midfielder Graham Zusi signed a new four-year contract with Sporting Kansas City.
Financial terms were not announced, although coach Peter Vermes said that Zusi received a substantial raise. His previous contract had a $140,000 base salary this year and total guaranteed 2013 compensation of $173,813, according to the MLS Players Union.
The San Jose Earthquakes signed U.S. national team player Clarence Goodson. Terms were not disclosed. ... American defender Jonathan Spector will stay with Birmingham, agreeing to a two-year deal, the club announced on its website.