March 5, 2013
Andrew Downie – Reuters, 03/05/2013
The public transport projects designed to modernise Brazilian cities for the 2014 soccer World Cup are being scaled back, delayed or cancelled as legal challenges, corruption and a lack of planning threaten to rob locals of the tournament’s most lasting legacy.
The 12 host cities, keen to use the event to overhaul aging urban infrastructure, laid out ambitious plans to build new metro lines, monorails and dedicated bus lanes but, with 15 months to go before the games kick off, it seems unlikely that all the projects will come to fruition.
“The much-discussed social legacy looks like it won’t get off the drawing board,” Romario, a former World Cup winner who is now a lawmaker in Brazil’s Congress, wrote last month in a newspaper column. “Almost all the transport projects are behind schedule, some have been put back and will be opened only after the World Cup and others have been cancelled altogether.”
November 29, 2012
AFP/The Sun Daily, 11/29/2012
With congested airports, ramshackle roads and nighmarish urban traffic jams, Brazil faces a major transportation headache as it gears up for the 2014 World Cup.
Despite planned investments of $13.65 billion for the soccer extravaganza, this continent-sized country cannot make up in the remaining 18 months for decades of neglect of its infrastructure, experts say.
The key challenge in preparing for the tournament “is the infrastructure around the (host) stadiums and how to access them. Brazilian roads are dreadful, except for those of Sao Paulo and the airports are horrendous,” said sports analyst Juca Kfouri.
Am estimated 500,000 foreign tourists and three million Brazilians are expected to attend matches in 12 host cities for the first World Cup to be held in Brazil since 1950.
The road system is saturated in Brazil — traveling less than 30 kilometres in Rio can take two hours and in Sao Paulo, the country’s economic capital, rush-hour traffic bottlenecks can be 250 kilometres long.
In Brazil, the world’s sixth largest economy with a population of 194 million, traffic accidents claim on average 117 lives daily, often due to the poor quality of roads and inadequate signs.
January 30, 2012
Mac Margolis – Newsweek, 01/28/2012
A pile of rocks removed from Maracana stadium sits outside the stadium during its renovation ahead of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday Feb. 25, 2011. , Ari Versiani, AFP / Getty Images
As the five-time soccer world champions ramp up to stage the premier event of the wildly popular sport, the heavens ought to be ablaze and the oceans parting. But with the countdown racing to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, that has hardly been the case.
Almost since 2007, when Brazil won the right to host the 2014 World Cup, the country’s relations with the Switzerland-based International Football Federation (FIFA) have been fraught. Construction work on stadiums, roads, and public transportation is lagging. The country’s airports are already operating at maximum capacity (a power shortage blacked out Rio de Janeiro’s international airport this week) and plans for their overhaul depend on a complex public bidding process that experts say is designed to leave contractors in a quagmire.
Even now, five years later, Brazilian lawmakers are still questioning the ground rules for the month-long event, and in recent months government officials have quibbled with football bureaucrats over everything from cut-rate tickets for the elderly and indigenous groups—a right written into the nation’s constitution—to beer sales at stadiums, in direct opposition to a national dry-games law.