Soccer-Brazil government accused of false advertising

SAO PAULO Tue May 27, 2014 6:15pm EDT

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SAO PAULO May 27 (Reuters) - A public prosecutor in central Brazil has accused the federal government of false advertising and has opened a civil suit to force it to suspend a publicity campaign that claims the country is ready to host next month's World Cup.

"The government campaign advertises that the tournament will bring great benefits to Brazilians through investments in urban infrastructure and public services," a statement from the Goias state federal prosecutor's office said.

"However, that is not the reality we are seeing."

The true situation is one of "disorganisation, lack of planning, and incompetence in doing what was planned in terms of infrastructure and services," the statement said.

The action seeks an injunction suspending the government campaign with possible fines of 5 million Brazilian reais ($2.23 million) a day if it fails to comply.

The Advocacia-Geral da Uniao, the federal government's legal office, did not respond to a request for comment on the case.

Brazil is investing at least 28 billion reais on the World Cup but more is now being spent on the 12 stadiums than on public transportation.

COPA DAS COPAS

While stadium costs have risen, many proposals to install metro lines, bus lanes and tram systems have been scaled back or shelved altogether.

The government's publicity campaign calls the tournament the "Copa das Copas," or World Cup to end all World Cups.

President Dilma Rousseff last month said "the stadiums are ready and the airports are ready" even though seats had still to be installed at three arenas and work was continuing at several airports.

Visitors to Fortaleza in the north of the country will be greeted at an airport terminal made of tarpaulin because the proposed building is so far behind schedule.

The World Cup kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 12 and runs until the final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

It is the first time Brazil has hosted the event since 1950 and 32 teams will take part.

($1 = 2.2372 Brazilian Reals) (Editing by Ken Ferris)

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