April 15, 2013
Shasta Darlington – CNN, 04/15/2013
Brazil has delivered only four of the six stadiums that will be used in June’s Confederations Cup, considered a dress rehearsal for next year’s World cup, on time.
One of the venues — Recife’s Arena Pernambuco — opened just a day before FIFA’s April 15 deadline, which comes precisely two months ahead of the start of the continental competition.
The other three cities that succeeded in delivering arenas before the deadline are Fortaleza, Salvador and Belo Horizonte, which are all now scheduling games to test the facilities.
February 25, 2013
Andrew Downie – Global Post, 02/25/2013
Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Brazilian soccer knows the players who have lit up the field over the last half-century. Pele, Ronaldo, Zico and Romario may go by just one name, but they need no introduction.
The spectacle is no less heart-stopping in the stands. From the crackle and boom of fireworks to the shirtless hordes chanting support for their teams and the unfurling of flags almost as large as the field itself, soccer matches in Brazil are a riot (sometimes literally) of noise and passion.
However, many worry that the construction of 14 new stadiums, 12 of which will be used to host matches in next year’s World Cup, is threatening to tear the heart and soul from the beautiful game.
December 17, 2012
Brazil has inaugurated the first of 12 stadiums being built or extensively renovated to host the 2014 World Cup.
President Dilma Rousseff kicked a ball during the ceremony at the Castelao Arena in Fortaleza.
Football’s world governing body, Fifa, had repeatedly expressed concern over World Cup delays, including at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.
December 12, 2012
Mike Collett – Reuters, 12/12/12
Manaus, one of the 12 cities due to stage soccer World Cup matches in Brazil in 18 months, will be ready on time, despite fears expressed by FIFA, Brazil’s deputy sports minister Luis Fernandes said on Wednesday.
“There is no threat whatsoever to any of the 12 host cities not being ready in time,” Fernandes told international journalists. “We are confident that all the host cities are confirmed and there are no threats to any of them.”
Last month, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke expressed concern that Manaus would not be ready in time.
November 30, 2012
Brazil’s economy posted extremely disappointing growth in the third quarter, piling pressure on President Dilma Rousseff to make deeper structural reforms and raising new fears that big emerging markets are getting dragged into the stagnant morass of the global economy.
The economy expanded just 0.6 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter, government statistics agency IBGE said on Friday. That was just half the pace expected by financial markets, and below any of the forecasts by 42 analysts in a Reuters poll.
Brazil has been stuck in a pattern of slow growth since Rousseff took office last year, as companies struggle with high costs and severe infrastructure and labor bottlenecks. Rousseff has tried to revive activity with numerous tax cuts and other stimulus, but Friday’s data showed that companies are not responding, as investment fell for a fifth straight quarter.
November 27, 2012
AP/The Washington Post, 11/27/2012
FIFA and Brazil World Cup organizers are trying to show nothing is affecting their partnership in preparing the country to host the event in 2014.
FIFA is wrapping up an inspection tour of the host cities and will oversee the draw on Saturday for next year’s Confederations Cup.
On Wednesday there’s a board meeting of the local committee.
November 14, 2012
Andrew Downie – Reuters, 11/14/2012
Brazilians like to say theirs is the country of soccer and it has certainly given the world strong candidates for the greatest player, the greatest team and even the greatest stadium.
In the nation that will host the next World Cup, however, fewer people go to see professional soccer matches than in China or the United States.
With attendances falling further this year, Brazilian clubs are using different strategies to try to fill their grounds but they are hampered by antiquated stadiums, a lack of respect for fans, television stations that show every game live and insufficient policing and security.
November 2, 2012
Peter Murphy – Reuters, 11/01/2012
When Marcondes Mendonça hauls corn from Brazil’s farm belt to port in the distant south, the young trucker prays for protection from gaping potholes and dangerous drivers, and dreads the squalid toilets on the seven-day journey ahead.
He also braces for other hassles: traffic bottlenecks, backlogs at port and stifling bureaucracy that increasingly slow goods and services across Latin America’s largest country.
Overwhelmed infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges facing Brazil, the world’s sixth-biggest economy and a global breadbasket that could next year displace the United States as the world’s top soybean producer.
October 17, 2012
Ana Flor – Reuters, 10/17/2012
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke voiced doubts on Tuesday that Brazil will have all six stadiums ready for the Confederations Cup in June 2013 due to the slow pace of preparations.
The tournament is considered a dress-rehearsal for the World Cup that Brazil is hosting the following year at 12 stadiums which are being upgraded or rebuilt from scratch in Brazil’s largest cities.
“At this pace, we are not going to have six stadiums ready for the Confederations Cup,” he told reporters after visiting the 66,800-capacity Minerao stadium, home to Atletico Mineiro and Cruzeiro.
August 22, 2012
The Economist, 8/18/2012
Source: The Economist
IN RECENT years Brazil’s government has been able to avoid tough spending choices. Faster economic growth and falling tax evasion have translated into steadily rising revenues, allowing the federal government to hire more workers and pay them more, as well as to boost pensions and social transfers (see chart 1). But the fat times are over. In 2011 economic growth was only 2.7%; this year 2% looks optimistic. Tax revenues are rising only a little faster than inflation. The government can no longer satisfy everyone.
The noisiest demands come from public-sector workers. Teachers at federal universities have been on strike for three months; they have recently been joined by federal police, tax officials and staff at some regulatory agencies. Around 300,000 have walked out, almost half the federal workforce. Police have blocked roads and worked to rule at airports, causing travel chaos. Striking customs officials have left goods stuck in ports. The strikers’ demands would swell the federal government’s salary bill by up to 50%; inflation is running at 5.2%.
The president, Dilma Rousseff, has made clear her irritation. Most federal employees have had big pay increases since 2003, when her Workers’ Party (PT) came to power. On average, federal salaries are now around double the private-sector rate for equivalent jobs, points out Raul Velloso, a public-finance specialist in Brasília.