A year later, Brazil’s FIFA World Cup infrastructure still not built

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 06/07/2015

The FIFA World Cup. It promises developing nations status, stadiums with wi-fi and cup holders, roads, bridges and new airport terminals. And let’s not forget, sponsorship parties! But I digress…

Last year’s FIFA World Cup left Brazilians crying in disbelief as their national team took looked like the Muppets on the field with the Germans. The consolation prize at least was all this new development that was promised when FIFA awarded the country with the soccer championship back in October 2007. Shiny trains. More efficient airports. Less traffic in Sao Paulo. FIFA might be worth it after all.

But an investigative report Sunday by Folha de Sao Paulonewspaper shows that R$11 billion ($3.5 billion) worth of 35 projects budgeted  in 2010 are not complete and a handful of simply been abandoned. A year after the World Cup, Brazil’s FIFA projects for public transportation and airport terminal extensions at places like Guarulhos International (GRU) in Sao Paulo and Afonso Pena International (CWB) in Curitiba are incomplete.

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Brazil launches congressional inquiry into corruption after Fifa arrests

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 5/29/2015

The fallout from the police swoop on Fifa executives continues to grow in Brazil, where the police and congress have launched inquiries into alleged money laundering and tax evasion.

The focus of the investigation is the former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) José Maria Marin, who was arrested in Zurich on Wednesday, but is likely to widen to include his predecessor and other senior football officials.

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US tackles Brazil’s dirty game

Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 5/29/2015

Before this week, José Maria Marin was best known in Brazil for getting caught on camera in 2012 furtively pocketing a gold medal at a junior soccer awards ceremony.
The former head of Brazil’s football federation, the CBF, later barked at journalists that their obsession with the incident was “a real joke”. The medal had been a present, he insisted.

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Brazil’s Petrobras unveils details of debentures issue

Rogerio Jelmayer – The Wall Street Journal, 5/27/2015

Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, unveiled details of its debentures issue on the local debt market, which could total up to 4.05 billion reais ($1.28 billion).

The company will issue the debentures in five series, with different maturity dates of five-, seven- and 10 years. The company will sell a total of 3 billion reais in debentures and it can increase the offer by 1.05 billion reais to accommodate potential strong demand from investors.

The company said that the debentures of the first and second series will pay an annual yield of up to 2.15 percentage points over the interbank rate, called DI, which is 11.4% a year.

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In Brazil, FIFA scandal met with sense of vindication

Taylor Barnes – USA Today Sports, 05/28/2015

As word of the arrests of 14 FIFA officials and sports executives spread, many Brazilians responded with surprise, a measure of support and a sense of vindication over the news.

The country has seen large-scale protests since 2013, often directed at the government with many exasperated with expenditures on last year’s World Cup and the Summer Olympics, which Rio de Janeiro will host next year.

In the year since the World Cup, outsize stadiums built in cities across Brazil that do not have soccer clubs large enough to fill them have reportedly been used as bus parking lots, and venues to host children’s parties, weddings and religious events.

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Is Nike the unidentified company in the FIFA bribery case?

Matthew Townsend, Tariq Panja – Bloomberg Business, 05/27/2015

Nike Inc. said it’s cooperating with authorities on the same day the U.S. unsealed charges saying an unidentified sportswear company took part in bribing a Brazilian soccer official for a sponsorship agreement.

The deal described in an indictment of FIFA officials mirrors one obtained by Nike. The charges refer to a U.S. company that signed a partnership with the Brazilian federation in 1996. Nike, based in Beaverton, Oregon, announced its decade-long pact with Brazil that year.

“Nike believes in ethical and fair play in both business and sport and strongly opposes any form of manipulation or bribery,” the company said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. “We have been cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, with the authorities.” Nike, which isn’t named in the indictment, declined to comment on the allegations.

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Soiled by oil scandal, Brazil’s model is primed for makeover

Juan Pablo Spinetto, Anna Edgerton, Sabrina Valle – Bloomberg Business, 05/27/2015

Oil was to be the elixir of Brazil’s dreams to build a formidable economy, promote industrial development and fund a more generous welfare state even as it attracted billions in private global investment.

Instead, crisis and disappointment in the oil sector are beckoning Brazil’s leadership to move — if grudgingly — toward more deregulated industries and to temper the government’s hand in using state-run companies to forge broader economic policy.

Which helps explain why, as her second term takes shape, some of President Dilma Rousseff’s ministers have jettisoned the statist language of her first four years in office and those of her popular predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Instead, they are floating some liberal notions more in keeping with the pre-Lula years.

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