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Rome Reports

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Church in Brazil gives World Cup organizers 'red card'

For the past few months, Brazilians have taken to the streets to show their dissatisfaction with organizers of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, taking place in their country. Their list of complaints is long: from lacking infrastructure, including shortages of schools and hospital beds, to the misuse of public funds to build expensive new stadiums. As protests and debate continue on the topic, the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops issued a "red card,â? soccer's most severe penalty, to World Cup organizers.  The "red card,â? a one page flier distributed online and in Churches, lists eight failures from government and FIFA officials. They include the removal of entire families from buildings demolished to make way for stadiums, destruction of the environment, and rejecting public input on construction works for the month-long tournament. But, the flier also lists six elements to score the "victory goalâ? during the World Cup: guarantee housing for everyone, protection for workers, especially street vendors, combating human trafficking, and respect for the rights of fans and protestors. The bishops' conference also expressed their commitment to supporting the homeless, so that they are not "removed from public spaces during the Cup, and then thrown back in the streets, like objects.â? They also reiterated their participation in the international campaign to fight against sex trafficking.  RCA RR FA -PR Up: MAE