The 2014 World Cup will start with the first match, Croatia against host country Brazil (A/K/A Brasil), in Sao Paulo, on June 12. The real question is: Will the Country of Brazil be ready? There were signifiant Infrastructure Projects which were supposed to have been completed by the end of 2013–and were not.
Additional soccer (A/K/A football) stadiums either had to be constructed anew, or upgraded for the World Stage. Airports had to be upgraded or expanded to accommodate the crowds. Transportation lines, hotels and restaurants, as well. On top of that, the Army had been called-in to control the serious Gang Violence problem in Rio de Janeiro, where several games will be played.
Besides FIFA, the sanctioning body awarding this year’s World Cup to Brazil, Rio will also host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. So, the major construction projects are in preparation for two World Events. I wonder, however, if everything will even be ready when the Olympics will be played in two years. Let’s hope so!
Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the World and, I’m sure that that helped in getting both the World Cup and Olympics. It is important to remember, however, that part of Brazil’s growth comes from raising a large portion of it 200 Million Population out of Poverty, and not really growing its Technology Industry. Unfortunately, Brazil still has a large percentage of its population that is among some of the poorest in the World. Hence the Gangs, especially in Rio, and the on-going Public Demonstrations, around the country.
Brazil is a Soccer-Crazy Country and, yet, people have been protesting the large public expense to prepare for The Cup. Many of the Poor believe that those funds would be better used to provide for better Public Transportation, Housing and Schools, among meeting other needs. There has even arisen a tent-city very near the Sao Paulo site of the Opening Match, which will have to be dealt with. Given the on-coming Olympics in 2016, I would seriously doubt that all of these protests are going to go away even then.