Andrew Downie – Reuters/NBC Sports, 10/31/2012
When Brazil won the right to host the 2014 World Cup, officials vowed it would be the best and most transparent tournament ever and that hardly a cent of taxpayer money would be spent on stadiums and infrastructure.
Today, with the opening match less than two years away, those claims look shaky.
Organizers have set up websites where the public can monitor construction work and cash outlays, an exercise in transparency that officials say is new in Brazil.
But critics say the information is often contradictory or out of date. The cost of stadiums and public transport projects has spiraled and authorities have yet to disclose the budget for key areas such as telecommunications and policing.
Officials boasted that tracking spending would be “so easy that any citizen could sit on his sofa and see where the money was being spent,” said Gil Castello Branco, the secretary general of Contas Abertas, a non-profit group that monitors public expenditures.