Brazil: World Cup disaster ahead

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | June 4th, 2014

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Brazil: World Cup disaster ahead

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Brazil has spent so far close to US$12 bil­lion dol­lars prepar­ing for the upcom­ing World Cup, mak­ing this year’s World Cup the prici­est ever.

The logis­tics are gigan­tic: Twelve cities, thou­sands of miles apart, build­ing new sta­di­ums, each with capac­ity rang­ing between 35,000 to 70,000 peo­ple — and the need to pro­vide the sup­port­ing infra­struc­ture to room, feed, trans­port, and host the crowds.

The sta­di­ums alone have cost more than the sta­dium bill for the last two Cups com­bined; two are unfin­ished, while the cities are rush­ing to com­plete roads, side­walks and other Cup-​related infrastructure.

Eight years ago, the idea of host­ing the World Cup was sold to the Brazil­ian peo­ple as show­ing the world that the coun­try of 200 mil­lion was on its way to become a world power; the projects would be financed through pri­vate invest­ment and the entire coun­try would ben­e­fit:

Brazil’s gov­ern­ment insisted on stag­ing games in 12 cities, rather than the required eight, in order to spread the ben­e­fits across the country.

The real­ity is that costs are way over bud­get, as

Red tape and over­lap­ping fed­eral, state and munic­i­pal fiefs have snarled projects. Jérôme Val­cke, secretary-​general of FIFA, football’s gov­ern­ing body, has described deal­ing with Brazil­ian author­i­ties as “hell”. Eight con­struc­tion work­ers have died in acci­dents, six more than in South Africa four years ago. FIFA insists sta­di­ums will be ready when fans start pour­ing in. But delays have left lit­tle time to install and test telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions kit, prompt­ing wor­ries over patchy tele­vi­sion and radio transmission.

Part of the sta­dium that will host the 2014 World Cup opener in Brazil col­lapsed last month, killing two.

Thou­sands of poor peo­ple have been forcibly evac­u­ated from slums to make room for the con­struc­tion, adding to the vio­lent demon­stra­tions held through­out the coun­try in the past year.

Sup­port for host­ing the World Cup has fallen sharply, from 79% after it was awarded to Brazil in 2007 to 48% now. The econ­omy is grow­ing at a slower pace, inflations’s up, and, in another sur­vey,

61% of Brazil­ians say host­ing the World Cup is a “bad thing because it takes money away from pub­lic services,”

espe­cially schools and hospitals.

Yes­ter­day pro­tes­tors launched giant soc­cer balls to protest the amount of tax­pay­ers’ money Brazil is spend­ing,

Activists with the group Rio de Paz launched 12 balls each 2 meters (about 6.6 feet) in diam­e­ter from the avenue with red crosses painted on them to sym­bol­ize the lack of secu­rity in a coun­try where, accord­ing to offi­cial fig­ures, some 50,000 peo­ple are mur­dered each year.

At least that one was a peace­ful protest.

Brazil­ians are angry at the gov­ern­ment,

Nao Vai Ter Copa has become a national ral­ly­ing cry. There Will Be No World Cup.

There’s even a group of anar­chists call­ing them­selves the Black Bloc ready to “raise hell.”

There­fore, on top of the $12billion already spent, Brazil is spend­ing another $855 mil­lion on secu­rity and safety and deploy 57,000 troops and 100,000 police.

faustaHow will it all turn out?

We shall find out soon enough: The opener is on June 12 in Sao Paulo. Pres­i­dent Dilma Rouss­eff insists the games will be a resound­ing suc­cess.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­ica cul­ture and pol­i­tics at Fausta’s Blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Brazil has spent so far close to US$12 billion dollars preparing for the upcoming World Cup, making this year’s World Cup the priciest ever.

The logistics are gigantic: Twelve cities, thousands of miles apart, building new stadiums, each with capacity ranging between 35,000 to 70,000 people – and the need to provide the supporting infrastructure to room, feed, transport, and host the crowds.

The stadiums alone have cost more than the stadium bill for the last two Cups combined; two are unfinished, while the cities are rushing to complete roads, sidewalks and other Cup-related infrastructure.

Eight years ago, the idea of hosting the World Cup was sold to the Brazilian people as showing the world that the country of 200 million was on its way to become a world power; the projects would be financed through private investment and the entire country would benefit:

Brazil’s government insisted on staging games in 12 cities, rather than the required eight, in order to spread the benefits across the country.

The reality is that costs are way over budget, as

Red tape and overlapping federal, state and municipal fiefs have snarled projects. Jérôme Valcke, secretary-general of FIFA, football’s governing body, has described dealing with Brazilian authorities as “hell”. Eight construction workers have died in accidents, six more than in South Africa four years ago. FIFA insists stadiums will be ready when fans start pouring in. But delays have left little time to install and test telecommunications kit, prompting worries over patchy television and radio transmission.

Part of the stadium that will host the 2014 World Cup opener in Brazil collapsed last month, killing two.

Thousands of poor people have been forcibly evacuated from slums to make room for the construction, adding to the violent demonstrations held throughout the country in the past year.

Support for hosting the World Cup has fallen sharply, from 79% after it was awarded to Brazil in 2007 to 48% now. The economy is growing at a slower pace, inflations’s up, and, in another survey,

61% of Brazilians say hosting the World Cup is a “bad thing because it takes money away from public services,”

especially schools and hospitals.

Yesterday protestors launched giant soccer balls to protest the amount of taxpayers’ money Brazil is spending,

Activists with the group Rio de Paz launched 12 balls each 2 meters (about 6.6 feet) in diameter from the avenue with red crosses painted on them to symbolize the lack of security in a country where, according to official figures, some 50,000 people are murdered each year.

At least that one was a peaceful protest.

Brazilians are angry at the government,

Nao Vai Ter Copa has become a national rallying cry. There Will Be No World Cup.

There’s even a group of anarchists calling themselves the Black Bloc ready to “raise hell.”

Therefore, on top of the $12billion already spent, Brazil is spending another $855 million on security and safety and deploy 57,000 troops and 100,000 police.

faustaHow will it all turn out?

We shall find out soon enough: The opener is on June 12 in Sao Paulo. President Dilma Rousseff insists the games will be a resounding success.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America culture and politics at Fausta’s Blog.

DaTechGuy on DaRadio Saturday Noon EST. WBNW AM 1120 Concord WPLM 1390 Plymouth WESO 970 Southbridge, FTR Radio, the 405 Media

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