Brazil is tired of being scolded

Vanessa Barbara – The New York Times, 5/26/2014

 By now, Brazil should probably have been grounded for life, without video games or dessert.

Last month, a vice president of the International Olympic Committee, John Coates, said that Rio de Janeiro’s preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics were the worst he had ever seen.

Before that, Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA — the Federation of International Football Associations — claimed that Brazil was further behind in its preparations for this summer’s World Cup than any previous host nation, even though it had had seven full years to prepare. Then, in March, FIFA’s secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, declared we could risk being “the worst organizers” of the “worst event.” He had previously said that Brazil needed “a kick up the backside.”

Well, that was harsh. Brazilians, long treated as obedient children on the world stage, have always submitted to the superior wisdom of foreign authorities. Fifty years ago, after President João Goulart was deposed by a right-wing military coup, the American presence in our political scene was so conspicuous that a humorist announced a mock-campaign for the United States ambassador: “Enough of middlemen — Lincoln Gordon for president!”

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Brazil has a lot riding on its World Cup team’s outcome

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro – NPR, 4/17/2014


We’re about to hear why sports is not always just a game. Brazil is the spiritual home of soccer, and this summer, the country’s hosting soccer’s biggest tournament. So, what happens if Brazil loses? Here’s NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Imagine the moment: the crowds are cheering, the stadium – soccer’s most iconic, the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro – is packed. The world is watching on flickering screens everywhere. It’s the final, when all of the money, all of the hard work is finally going to pay off for Brazil – except it doesn’t. Brazil doesn’t win the World Cup. Stay with me. There’s a reason for this thought experiment, because history.

MARCELO BARRETO: In 1950, when Brazil lost the World Cup, that was a real tragedy. Some very serious sociologists believed that was the defining moment of Brazilian society.

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Brazil falling short in rush to overhaul World Cup airports

Brad Haynes & Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 4/7/2014

With less than 10 weeks until the start of the World Cup, work on crucial new airport terminals has fallen behind in most of the dozen Brazilian host cities, heightening the risk of overcrowding and confusion during the tournament.

A temporary canvas terminal will be used instead of a planned airport expansion to receive fans in Fortaleza, which will host six matches including Brazil’s game against Mexico and a quarter-final. Officials are already preparing alternatives for other cities.

“Other airports have not said anything yet, but they will probably have to come up with contingencies,” said Carlos Ozores, a principal at aviation consultancy ICF International who has consulted for Brazilian airlines and airport operators.

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Brazil restarts construction at Amazon stadium after worker death

Matthew Cowley & Rogerio Jelmayer – Wall Street Journal, 12/16/2013

Some construction work on a World Cup stadium in the heart of the Amazon that will host the U.S. soccer team next year partially restarted on Monday after a two-day suspension following a death at the site on Saturday.

The accident dealt another blow to the country’s efforts to complete stadiums in time for the world’s most-watched sports tournament, which will be held in June and July. It has again brought into focus questions about safety at World Cup construction sites following two deaths at the Arena Corinthians stadium under construction in São Paulo on Nov. 27.

Brazil has yet to deliver six of the 12 stadiums that will be used in the 2014 World Cup. All six were scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, but the recent accidents mean some will be delayed beyond that. There are doubts too about stadiums in the southern city of Curitiba and the center-west city of Cuiabá.

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Another World Cub construction death in Brazil

CNN, 12/15/2013

A construction worker in Brazil died early Saturday after falling off the roof of the World Cup stadium in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

Five workers have died on construction sites of World Cup stadiums under construction in Brazil, hosts of next year’s international soccer tournament.

The worker, identified as Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, fell 35 meters from the roofing structure and was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

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Brazil’s child sex trade soars as 2014 World Cup nears

The Guardian, 12/09/2013

A tiny figure in minuscule white shorts and a pink strapless top leans against a metal fence outside a school in Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará state, north-east Brazil.

She has gloss-coated lips, and her yellow headband, holding back long hair, glows in the lamplight along Juscelino Kubitschek Avenue, which connects the city to the Castelão arena, one of the venues for the 2014 World Cup. A car pulls up. The girl climbs in.

This is a common scene around the stadium in Fortaleza, considered Brazil’s child prostitution capital and a magnet for sex tourism, according to local authorities.

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Brazil downplays missing FIFA’s stadium deadline

Associated Press, 12/04/2013

The Brazilian government has brushed aside the importance of more delays in completing 2014 World Cup stadiums, saying that missing FIFA’s deadline will not affect the country’s ability to successfully host next year’s tournament.

A day after FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said three stadiums would not be ready in time for the Dec. 31 deadline, Brazilian officials said they actually plan to deliver all six remaining venues after that date.

They claim only three are delayed, with the other three being handed over after the expected date only because of problems accommodating the schedule of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who wants to be present for the ceremonies.

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