RIO DE JANEIRO – FIFA's secretary general says there's not a country on Earth where the World Cup could be hosted without the specter of violence.
Jerome Valcke has downplayed the recent outbreak of urban violence in Rio de Janeiro, calling night-long clashes Tuesday between police and slum dwellers "sad" but ruling out the possibility unrest could derail the June 12-July 13 cup.
The mayhem broke out in a slum sandwiched between Rio's showcase Copacabana and Ipanema beaches after the body of a young man was found. Another man was shot to death in the chaos that ensued.
Valcke pledged that "what has happened in Rio does not put at risk the organization of the World Cup for FIFA at all."
He spoke at a news conference Friday.