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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- President Dilma Rousseff appealed to Brazilians to support the World Cup, using a nationally televised address less than two days before the tournament starts to rebuke the "pessimists" who complain the country shouldnt be hosting the event. Brazils World Cup preparations have stoked countless protests from those angered by the billions spent on the event while the quality of public services in the health, education, security and transport spheres is lacking. In a pre-taped speech aired during prime time Tuesday night, Rousseff called on all Brazilians to back the national team regardless of their political persuasion or whether they fully agree with the nation hosting the event. "Im certain that in the 12 host cities, visitors are going to mix with a happy, generous and hospitable people, and be impressed by a nation full of natural beauty and which fights each day to become more equal," she said, referring to sharp drops in poverty that Brazil has seen in the past decade under Workers Party leadership. Rousseff also defended the $11.5 billion spent on the Cup. Three out of every four Brazilians polled say they are convinced that corruption has tinged the myriad works related to the Cup. An Associated Press investigation earlier this year found that big construction firms responsible for building the bulk of the stadiums, roads and other works had dramatically increased their campaign contributions since Brazil was named as the host of this years Cup. Much of that money was funneled to Rousseffs ruling Workers Party though spending also went to the opposition. In one case, top builder Andrade Gutierrez, which has helped build or renovate four stadiums, hiked campaign contributions 500-fold from one election to the next after it was determined which 12 cities would host matches. That stoked anger and increased suspicions about collusion between politicians and the big builders -- especially after reports from government auditors began to surface, indicating massive cost overruns along with allegations of price-gouging, principally in the building of stadiums. For instance, the cost of the stadium in Brasilia, a city with no major professional soccer team, has nearly tripled to $900 million from original price estimates published by the government. "Have no doubt, the accounts of the Cup are being meticulously analyzed by auditing agencies," Rousseff said. "If there exists any irregularity, those responsible will receive the maximum punishment." About half of Brazilians polled have said theyre against even hosting the World Cup and the mood is mixed about the event just days before it starts. That was once unthinkable for a nation that embodies soccer like no other, the country that has won the World Cup a record five times. However, many Cup watchers also think that if the Brazilian team gets on a roll and starts winning, the mood could quickly pivot and the nation could show the world a celebration worthy of its international reputation as a land of free-wheeling festivals and easy going, friendly people. Rousseff said that "for any nation, organizing a Cup is like taking part in a tough -- and many times painful -- game." The leader rebuked those who argue Brazil has spent too much on the Cup, saying that since 2010, the government has spent more than 200 times what it invested in stadiums on education and health care systems. Adding to fears of chaos during the Cup, subway worker unions in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were both expected to announce decisions soon on whether they would call transportation strikes for the coming days. Rousseff, whose poll numbers are slipping ahead of an October political election, concluded her speech by urging all Brazilians to rally around their team, whom she addressed directly. "Beneath those green and canary jerseys, you embody a powerful legacy of the Brazilian people. The national team represents nationality," she said. "Its above governments, parties and interests of any group." UK Shoes Clearance Sales . A veteran of 16 NHL seasons, Prospals career was highlighted by him ranking fourth in points scored, third in assists and sixth in games played among all Czech Republic born players in NHL history. Cheap Shoes UK Free Delivery . Mesoraco hurt his hamstring while scoring from second in Friday nights 5-4 loss at Atlanta. Chapman was hit by a line drive during an exhibition game on March 19, breaking his nose and a bone above his left eye. The left-hander looked strong while throwing 43 pitches in batting practice before Saturday nights game against the Braves. http://www.clearanceshoesuk.com/.ca. The NHL Play of the Year showdown kicks off with some slick moves going head-to-head with a combination of soft hands and endless patience. Cheap Shoes Online UK . - Jesse Shynkaruk scored a hat trick as the Moose Jaw Warriors snapped a seven-game losing streak with an 8-2 win over the Prince Albert Raiders in Western Hockey League action on Saturday. Cheap Shoes Online UK Sale .com) - A chant of Zeke reverberated around AT&T Stadium before Ezekiel Elliott powered into the end zone for his fourth and final touchdown.Mobile, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - South Alabama has accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural Camellia Bowl, which also will mark the programs first- ever postseason appearance. The Jaguars will be the Sun Belt Conferences representative in the Dec. 20 game, which will take place in Montgomery, Alabama opposite a yet-to-be-named opponent from the Mid-American Conference. South Alabama, which is in only its second season as a full-fledged FBS member and began playing football in 2009, went 6-6 during the regular season and tied for fourth in the Sun Belt with a 5-3 mark. We enthusiasticallly are honored to be part of the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, said South Alabama president Dr.dddddddddddd Tony Waldrop. The importance of this bowl game is great, obviously for the football team and all the fans, but its also great for the student life here. What an accomplishment: after just six years of having a football program, were going to a bowl game. The Jaguars will become the first FBS team to reach a bowl game in its second season at the level. Florida Atlantic, then a Sun Belt member as well, went to the 2007 New Orleans Bowl in its third year with full-time FBS status. ' ' '

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