FIFA is giving Brazil $100 million after the country spent $15 billion on the World Cup

January 21, 2015

Stephen Wade – AP/Business Insider, 01/20/2015

Football’s world governing body FIFA said Tuesday it had set up a $100 million World Cup Legacy Fund for Brazil, aimed at sports facilities, youth and women’s football, and medical and health projects.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter pledged two years ago to give some of the revenue from the 2014 World Cup back to grassroots programs in the South American country, which spent about $15 billion organizing last year’s World Cup.

Spending on the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics is expected to top $15 billion.

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Brazil trying to make good use of new stadiums

December 22, 2014

Tales Azzoni – AP/, 12/21/2014

It’s white elephant time for World Cup stadiums — again.

When the World Cup ended, Brazil was left with a sense of pride after successfully hosting soccer’s showcase tournament. It was also left with 12 modern facilities that officials said would help revitalize the sport in the country.

Now, Brazil’s brand new arenas are having to host weddings, children’s parties and religious events to generate revenue.

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Brazil World Cup stadiums languish, adding insult to injury for some

December 18, 2014

James Young – Al Jazeera America, 12/17/2014

Marinalva Ferreira da Silva has more reason than most to resent Recife’s hulking Arena Pernambuco, one of the stadiums constructed for last summer’s soccer World Cup. She said the demolition work that was carried out so the venue could be built tore the heart out of the neighborhood of Timbi, where she has lived since 1962.

“They knocked down half the street. Our house was spared by centimeters,” she said. “There used to be supermarkets, a bakery and a butcher’s shop, but now there’s nothing. And because there are fewer people around, it’s not safe. There’s more crime.”

Ferreira da Silva, an accountant, said authorities removed about 130 families to make way for construction. “They offered compensation, but in many cases people didn’t have the right documentation to claim it, even though they’d lived here for years, so they got nothing. The government said lots of the people who lived here were illegal invaders. But they weren’t. They paid their taxes like everybody else.”

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Brazil August Retail Sales Rise More Than Analysts Forecast

October 15, 2014

David Biller – Bloomberg, 10/15/2014

Brazil’s retail sales in August rose more than analysts forecast, as the government works to spur growth after the world’s second-biggest emerging market entered recession in the first half of the year.

Sales rose 1.1 percent after a revised 1 percent contraction in July, the national statistics agency said today in Rio de Janeiro. That was the biggest jump since July 2013 and above the median forecast for a 0.8 percent increase from 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The first sales increase since May comes 11 days before the presidential runoff election between challenger Aecio Neves and incumbent Dilma Rousseff. Shoppers’ purchasing power has become a talking point in the race after above-target inflation eroded consumer confidence and the economy shrank in the first half. In June and July Brazil hosted the monthlong World Cup tournament.

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Big Events, Big Risks: Lessons From Brazil’s World Cup

October 2, 2014

Jacqueline Day – Forbes, 09/29/2014

For a month this past summer, billions of fans around the world stayed glued to televisions broadcasting the FIFA World Cup from Brazil. Millions more descended on Brazil to watch the games in person. They came despite the various warnings about Brazil’s readiness to host and fears of widespread, violent protests. Yet, as it should be, the tournament will mostly be remembered for the drama that played out on the pitch: from the Brazilian team’s epic collapse against Germany and the controversy that erupted when Uruguay’s Luis Suarez (some would say allegedly) bit an Italian opponent, to the emergence of Colombian star James Rodriguez.

That the tournament will be remembered first and foremost for the soccer was no small feat and, frankly, a massive surprise. Thousands of corporate VIPs, celebrities and world leaders descending upon a country known for its security, logistics and infrastructure challenges was worrisome enough. Such a backdrop, combined with the disruptive social unrest that flared unexpectedly in 2013, could have easily shifted the storyline away from the sporting competition itself. That it did not is a testament to the hard work and careful preparation of the legions of public and private sector workers, as well as to the Brazilian people’s devotion to “the beautiful game.”

The Brazilian security forces deserve plenty of credit. They took active measures to address lessons learned from the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, effectively managing and containing the smaller-scale protests that did occur, and critically, avoiding the heavy-handed tactics that only aggravated matters in 2013. They were helped by two additional factors. First, many Brazilians who had previously engaged in legitimate and peaceful protest activity during the Confederations Cup were alienated by the violent tactics of anarchist groups, the so-called Black Blocs, with whom they did not want to be associated.  Second, in keeping with custom, most Brazilians cared more about watching the matches than taking to the streets. Even Brazil’s crushing loss to Germany—an event that caused security directors to collectively hold their breath—failed to galvanize the masses to take back to the streets.

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Blatter praises Brazil for great World Cup

September 9, 2014

Mike Collett – Reuters, 09/08/2014

FIFA president Sepp Blatter always believed this year’s World Cup would not be affected by the civil disturbances that blighted the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil and he said he was delighted his prediction came true.

Blatter, 78, described the tournament on Monday as “great” and the “best World Cup” he had been involved in during an interview recorded for delegates at the Soccerex Global convention.

“It was, in my opinion, the best World Cup I have ever seen in the terms of quality of the football and the ambience it created in all the cities, in all the stadia .. Really it went under the skin,” he said.

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Brazil begins recovery from World Cup debacle

September 4, 2014

Craig Davis – Sun Sentinel, 09/03/2014

Just say the score, nothing more. 7-1.

It’s enough to send a chill through the bruised psyche of Brazil all over again. It has been speculated that repercussions of the national team’s stunning loss to Germany by that incomprehensible score in the recent World Cup on home soil could even cost Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff the upcoming election and send the economy into a tailspin.

That’s why Friday’s friendly between Brazil and Colombia at Sun Life Stadium is much more than a typical international exhibition. It is the first chance for Brazil to begin the healing process.

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