February 21, 2014
Tarqi Panja – Bloomberg, 2/20/2014
The threat of mass public protests returning to Brazil’s streets during soccer’s World Cup this year won’t push the sport’s governing body into hiding, FIFA’s director of security said.
Brazil’s biggest protests in a generation erupted last June during the Confederations Cup, a warm-up event for the World Cup, which has become a totem for opposition groups. They’ve seized on the event to complain about a range of issues including the amount of money being spent on sports in a country with poor health and education funding.
Protests initially sparked by a rise in bus fares have continued sporadically since then, with demonstrators brandishing anti-FIFA insignia and chanting against the Zurich-based organization. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets near all the Confederations Cup venues.
November 7, 2013
John Dillon – Express UK, 11/06/2013
The abandonment of the SoccerEx forum was made just minutes before former Brazil striker Ronaldo arrived at a prestige PR event in London aimed at trumpeting the merits of staging the tournament in Rio next year.
It raised fresh fears about the safety of fans attending the World Cup.
And it increased the prospect that the tournament may take place amid the same mass protests and street violence that marred the Confederations Cup this summer.
August 19, 2013
Tales Azzoni – Herald Sun, 08/19/2013
FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke will begin an inspection visit to Brazil amid a series of concerns about the country’s readiness for soccer’s 2014 World Cup.
Valcke will visit three host cities after Brazil’s sports minister said the country needed to speed up construction pace on five of six stadiums that have to be completed by December.
Monday’s visit also comes just days after government concerns with price hikes of hotels listed on FIFA’s website, something that could prompt an investigation into the FIFA-appointed agency in charge of accommodation.
August 9, 2013
Foreign tourists to the country injected 7 billion Reais approx 3.5 billion dollars into the Brazilian economy, showing an increase of 9.6% based on the same volume of Reais spent by inbound tourists in the first half of last year.
A further several tens of millions is expected to have been generated last month with Brazil hosting World Youth Day and the successful visit of Pope Francis during a week.
Tourist board president Flávio Dino said: “Obviously, the Confederations Cup taking place in June helped accentuate this upward curve.
August 8, 2013
Rafael Alcadipani – Financial Times, 08/07/2013
Just like the Confederations Cup, the recent World Youth Day (WYD) left no doubt about Brazil’s chronic problems when it comes to organisation. Queues and more queues; serious public transport problems; insufficient and faulty public toilets; a lack of accommodation for pilgrims…the list goes on. The chaos even reached the point that the security of the Pope was called into question.
But it certainly wasn’t for lack of money – a great deal was spent on the WYD but with little result.
In the case of the World Cup (to be hosted by Brazil next year), the numbers are even more significant. The budget for Brazil’s 12 stadiums up until now is R$7bn – three times more than South Africa spent on the World Cup in 2010. Some even forecast that the 2014 World Cup could be more expensive than all the other tournaments put together.
Rafael Alcadipani, professor at FGV-EAESP, the São Paulo Business Administration School of Brazil’s Fundação Getulio Vargas and Visiting Scholar at Sweden’s Gothenburg Research Institute.
July 29, 2013
Michael Kelly – Business Insider, 07/28/2013
Last month during the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil — a test run ahead of next summer’s World Cup — more than a million of Brazilians took to the streets to protest crime, corruption, failing public schools and hospitals, and high and rising prices.
High prices may be the most critical factor in Brazilian unrest, according to Simon Romero of the New York Times.
Romero offers several striking examples:
July 19, 2013
Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 07/18/2013
If Fifa had wanted to make itself even more of a target in the political protest movement gripping Brazil, it could hardly have done better than it is doing now.
Instead of remaining quietly on the sidelines, as most of the sponsors of the 2014 World Cup are doing, Fifa is risking diverting attention away from the main focus of the protesters’ wrath – Brazilian politicians.
That’s because if there is one thing most likely to unite two warring parties in a civil war, it is interference from an outsider.
July 19, 2013
David Felsen – International Business Times, 07/18/2013
In Brazil, the recent street demonstrations did little to mar Brazilians’ excitement surrounding the Confederations Cup of soccer and the celebrations that followed Brazil’s convincing victory in its final match against Spain on June 30.
The street protests did have the effect of raising awareness about Brazil’s unfinished social and economic agenda at home. In response to the government’s rising spending on megaprojects associated with next year’s World Cup of soccer and the Olympic Games of 2016, Brazil’s growing middle class has been calling for more responsive government, better service delivery and more investment in infrastructure. The challenge posed by these protests also creates new opportunities to bring about change to address these issues.
One of the most important conversations being had by Brazilians is one that surrounds access to education. At the primary and secondary school levels, educational quality remains low by global standards. Too few Brazilians entering school attain the necessary skills to be able to earn a reasonable living or to pursue post-secondary education. Brazil ranked second from the bottom in the Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Educational Attainment, a recent 2012 global study of 39 countries plus Hong Kong, carried out by the The Economist Intelligence Unit.
July 19, 2013
Sports Illustrated, 07/18/2013
Brazil’s government defended the country as host of the 2014 World Cup on Thursday, a day after FIFA President Sepp Blatter warned that recent protests meant it might have been the wrong choice.
More than one million people took to the streets during last month’s Confederations Cup – the warm-up for the World Cup – angry at Brazil’s poor public services, contrasted with almost $14 billion spent on the World Cup.
About the same amount will be spent on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
July 18, 2013
Joe Leahy & Roger Blitz – Financial Times, 07/18/2013
Brazil may prove to have been the wrong choice to host next year’s World Cup if it cannot bring its protest movement under control, the head of Fifa said on Wednesday.
Commenting on the protests that erupted during June’s Confederations Cup – the dress rehearsal for the World Cup – Sepp Blatter, the president of Fifa which organises the tournament, said Brazil needed to prevent the unrest from recurring.
“If this happens again in 2014, then we might have to question whether we made the wrong decision awarding the hosting rights to Brazil,” he said. “However, this will not happen. I am confident that Brazil will deliver a great Fifa World Cup.”