Brazil sports minister admits violence fears

Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo speaks during a press conference during a media day ahead of the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on December 4, 2013
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Brazil's sports minister Aldo Rebelo admits that there are social problems in his country that need to be addressed.

Brazil's sports minister Aldo Rebelo has admitted that the country is rife with violence and crime.

The politician made the comments during a build-up event for Friday's World Cup draw.

"We do have cases of violence in our cities, violence with social origins, common crime, robberies," he said.

"This is something we are trying to fight against. Nobody will feel comfortable with this, with the mass robberies, the rapes that happen. But this is a horrible fact.

"We are trying to contain this violence. We know our country may be harmed when this violence is seen by the world, as would any country where violence exists."

However, Rebelo has insisted that Brazil are doing their best to cope with their problems and claims that the nation's ills are not unique.

"We want to be scrutinised and are sure this will show more positives than negatives," he added. "We are a country of joy and tolerance, proud of our mixed-race heritage. The issue of violence, we know it exists.

"We do not have the same safety conditions on the streets as in European cities. But the airports, bus stations and subways will be safer than any other environment in the US or Europe. Sometimes we have specific vulnerabilities and demonstrations of violence but it is not just Brazil.

"We live in a world full of problems. I have lived in Brazil my whole life and only been robbed in Paris. Cases of violence can only be predicted or expected in Rio, Sao Paulo or Salvador."

The draw for the group stage of the World Cup will take place on Friday.

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