Category: - Brazilian News

The 2014 World Cup

  Is the “Soccer Country” ready to host a World Cup? Brazil gets criticized and FIFA attempts to appease the situation.

By Gabriel Curuja
December 6th, 2011

Back to 2010, less than a month after the conclusion of the South African World Cup, the Brazilian sports minister and other related entities committed themselves to host the 20th edition of the biggest soccer event in Brazil.

Most of the social, political and economic differences dilute when it comes to soccer in Brazil, perhaps, that is one of the main reasons why Brazil is worldwide known as the “Soccer Country”. Also, as a rising giant that still needs assistance, – now about the current economic aspects – using the quadrennial soccer championship would aid and support Brazil’s international image and improve the country’s infrastructureas well.

However, FIFA’s general secretary, Jérôme Valcke, said “I got a report on the status quo of the Brazilian stadiums; I have to say it is not very nice. It is amazing how Brazil is already late. The stadiums are the basic points we need to have a World Cup, and, in Brazil, most of the deadlines are already over and we have to work on new deadlines.”

Indeed, many of the Brazilian stadiums are unable to serve the demand of soccer fans coming from abroad and from every corner of Brazil. The situation of the stadiums is not the only issue: the main obstacle is outside of them. The public transportation, hotels and airports are somewhat precarious – due to the circumstances – to supply the large amount of people. Since Brazil is a huge country, – the second largest country ever to host the World Cup, losing only to the United States, which has a very enhanced infrastructure and is used to having intense flow of foreigners – a massive improve in the transportation sector is highly needed, mainly airports, due to the distances that people will need to travel. Likewise, most of the cities that will hold the matches do not have a subway system or transportation enough to move in the city. Those are some of the matters that the government will have to deal with.

Concerning the situation inside the stadiums, security will have to be reinforced, no doubts about it. FIFA is trying to make the access to the games easier with half-price tickets to students and elders. Another request is to open an exception to the strict rule that prohibits beer and other alcoholic drinks in the Brazilian stadiums. So far, no promises have been made, Dilma Rousseff only said “We have come to an agreement about what is necessary to make the Confederations Cup and the World Cup an absolute success.”

Some cities are delayed when it comes to infrastructure in general; Porto Alegre is one of them. “I know that Porto Alegre is getting late in the schedule, but we are not in position to make a decision, whether to change stadium (Beira-Rio) or to assume that Porto Alegre will not be ready in time to be a host. I do not want to put pressure, I just think that time is very important and Porto Alegre can’t miss a single day more”, said Valcke.

He also emphasized that Porto Alegre is a very important city to Brazilian and global soccer. It is the only city in the world with two world-champion soccer teams and which presented the world some of the best soccer players in activity such as Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Alexandre Pato, Nilmar… and many other contributions to the sport. In fact, it would be a real shame to discard Porto Alegre from the list of host cities.