Special Feature: The Bastardization of Brazil 2014

Today, we give a platform to  Professor Christopher Gaffney. To learn more about Gaffney’s resume and qualifications in writing this piece, click here.

And…how’s it going?

In 2007, FIFA awarded the 2014 World Cup to Brazil.

Following Colombia’s withdrawal, Brazil was the only candidate as FIFA’s short-lived confederation rotation system had guaranteed that a CONMEBOL nation would host the 2014 tournament.

Immediately following FIFA’s announcement, the Brazilian Minister of Sport, Orlando Silva proclaimed that “the government is not considering investing money in constructing or remodeling stadiums.”

The government and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) were confident that the private sector would invest heavily in Brazil’s stadium infrastructure. FIFA were not so sure, saying the following on page 24 of their stadium evaluation report dated October 20, 2007:

Unlike most previous bids, there is no evidence of corporate support through sponsorship of the bid. It may be that this is intentional and that the bid LOC (Local Organizing Committee) has not sought financial support from corporate Brazil. Nevertheless, the bid LOC appears to have been well funded by the bidding member association.

While this should have been a warning of challenges to come, the Brazil 2014 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) did not pursue private financing measures, but rather opened a bidding war between 18 Brazilian cities from which “8 or 10” would be selected to host the Cup.

In May of 2009, 12 cities emerged from the competition as World Cup host cities.

There has been wide and public speculation that the Lula government is paying off political favors through the World Cup.

Four of these cities (Manaus, Brasilia, Cuiabá, Natal) do not have teams competing in any of Brazil’s top three divisions and are guaranteed to have white elephants in their midst for the coming decades–much like the situation that South Africa is currently dealing with during their post-World Cup hangover.

As of November 2010, federal and state governments are planning on investing more than US$4 billion on World Cup stadiums.

Historic stadiums have been demolished without consulting the public, communities are undergoing forcible removal to make way for “clean” television shots and infrastructure projects, teams are playing hundreds of kilometers from their fan base, ticket prices are on the rise, and the average attendance for a Brazilian league match is not on par with Europe’s mega leagues–in fact it’s just a shade above MLS.

How can the government justify building these World Cup stadiums, which will average US$400-500 million each, with yearly maintenance costs upwards of US$3 million?

The Maracanã

In Rio de Janeiro, less than 20% of public schools have recreation areas, yet the Maracanã will undergo an estimated US$600 million reform. Is this another classic case of public risk for private profit, or are there going to be real benefits accruing to the cities and citizens of Brazil long after the last 2014 World Cup game is played?

The problems inherent in hosting a World Cup in Brazil are as immense as the country itself.

However, Ricardo Teixeria, president of both the CBF and Brazil 2014, has quipped that the three problems facing the Organizing Committee are “airports, airports, and airports.”

Teixeria’s limerick has the effect of deflecting criticism of how the World Cup itself is going to re-make and reshape Brazilian football for the next generations by promoting what is necessary to make the event a short-term success.

Indeed, catching a flight from Manaus to Porto Alegre is as difficult as it is expensive.

Brazil is the size of the continental United States, but its lack of integrated transportation effectively makes it seem five times the size.

There is no passenger train service between Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Belo Horizonte which form the economic and demographic core of the nation.

The airports are already bursting at the seams and the highways are poorly maintained. Car rentals are exorbitantly expensive (as are the hotels, rents, food and drink).

But the problem of a Brazilian World Cup is not limited to the inadequate infrastructure and it appears there are some severe and telling concerns that perhaps FIFA, or those that watch the games that it regulates, should pay heed to. Here are some pertinent, if unbelievable considerations:

Ricardo Teixeria: double duty

• Black Box “Leadership”

For the first time in World Cup history, the head of the national football association is also the head of the national organizing committee. There are, of course, always strong relationships between the two entities, but the consolidation of power is a recipe for running the World Cup out of a black box.

The “Committee”:

There are five members on the Brazil 2014 World Cup Organizing committee, one of who is the daughter of Ricardo Teixeira, head of the CBF and son-in-law of long time FIFA president João Havelange. This is a closed and clannish operation. By contrast, there were 32 members of the South African Organizing Committee.

Ticket Prices:

There is constant chatter in the media about the “inevitable” rise in ticket prices that will pay for the stadiums, the “necessity to modernize,” the need to “improve security,” the “marketing opportunity” that the World Cup will bring, and so on. The rhetoric of World Cup boosters is that Brazil will, finally, have modern stadiums and that this will somehow transform everything in the Brazilian game.

These costs will be assumed by Brazilian fans in the form of higher ticket prices, which would make it extremely difficult for the working class to attend games at the stadiums (as has happened in England).

This could forever change the culture of the Brazilian stadium and the culture of Brazil itself. This is a cost that cannot be measured in numbers and raises important questions about the trajectory of development and democracy in Brazil.

•  Parallels to South Africa:

Consider the following fallout from South Africa:

One report claims that: “When the games end, however, South African taxpayers will face a bill of more than 3.3 billion euros. Roughly the same amount FIFA expects to post as its net earnings from the event–one of the most profitable of all time.” Sure, there were jobs created, but what kinds of working conditions and at what wages?

Security...at FIFA's direction and discretion...

How does this happen? One of the demands made in the host nation agreement is that all of the World Cup stadiums and a 2km radius of the stadium be turned over to FIFA, as the World Cup is a private event. FIFA directs security, can control who comes in and out, and can prohibit people from entering into the FIFA-zone with propaganda from companies that compete with their corporate sponsors if they so choose.

This effect was recently on display at the FIFA Fan Fests spread throughout South Africa and the world during the tournament. In Rio de Janeiro, the Fan Fest privatized public space, kicked informal vendors off the sidewalks, and prohibited musical instruments.

• Parking:

FIFA requires that there be one parking spot for every six spectators. Given Brazil’s infrastructure, parking spot allocation will not solve traffic problems.

The proportion of stadium space dedicated to VIPs is one of the major changes that Brazilian stadiums will have to undergo in order to meet FIFA’s exigencies. Conversely, there is no requirement that the stadiums be integrated into the urban environment or have spaces dedicated to education or culture.

• Financial Accountability:

Earlier this year, Brazilian Federal Minister Paulo Rattes (PMDB/RJ) publicly stated that the CBF was running the World Cup out of a black box.

Rattes said that there was “no planning, no financial accountability, and no way of regulating the process.” Rattes was particularly concerned with the fact that all goods imported for the World Cup are exempt from taxation!

Other ministers have noted that there are no post-Cup uses for stadiums and that they will pose an undue debt burden on cities. Fortunately, the Lula government passed a law in June that allowed cities hosting the World Cup to exceed their legally established ability to go into debt. FIFA and the CBF have not responded to these accusations (this link translated by Google and may contain inaccuracies). The government has repeatedly criticized the CBF for not responding to their queries.

Tourism Demand Absent:

Massive spending on mega-event infrastructure is frequently justified under the guise that it will provide short-, medium-, and long-term boosts to local and national tourist economies. The current state of development in advance of Brazil 2014 calls that logic into question.

Munich had lower hotel occupancy during the 2006 World Cup when compared to other years. Brazil is currently subsiding hotel development to the tune of R$1B (or currently US$587 million). The tens of thousands of new hotel rooms may fill for the World Cup and Olympics, but will then join the stadiums as white elephants.

Why? Quite simply, history shows the demand for tourism is not there.

Brazil only receives around five million tourist visits a year, slightly more than the Dominican Republic. Rio de Janeiro receives about a million of those visits, with half arriving for Carnaval.

By contrast, Spain receives 50 million tourist visits.

The economic projections for the World Cup are based on 600,000 tourists who will each spend US$5,500 over fifteen days (link dead from Brazil, data here). If we add the US$1500 flight onto that number, it would be wise to start saving your shekels if you plan on coming to Brazil in 2014.

The only way to get more tourists to Brazil is to either cut out the onerous visa process (two weeks and US$230 for Americans) or move the country to the North Atlantic.

These kind of inflated projections make it seem as if the World Cup is going to suddenly jump-start the Brazilian tourist industry. It won’t and can’t because Brazil is expensive and far from global tourist circuits. The kind of tourists that are going to spend $7,000 per person on a two-week holiday are typically not the demographic that go to World Cups.

Stadiums and Their Surroundings:

The Maracanã stadium underwent R$350 million (at present, US$205 million) in reforms for the 2007 Pan American games.

It is now undergoing a R$720 million (at present, US$422 million) reform and all of the work undertaken for the Pan American games has been destroyed.

As an example of forward thinking, this is backwards. The stadium’s capacity in 1999 was 179,000. In 2014 it will be 75,000. The Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador was legally “preserved” as a cultural patrimony (as is the Maracanã). The law was ignored and the stadium demolished.

The Vilvaldão stadium in Manaus was designed to be amplified. Its architect was not consulted before its destruction. In Belo Horizonte, the Minerão stadium and the Independence stadium both closed for repairs at the same time, forcing the city’s two biggest teams to play 90km away for the next three years.

In Fortaleza, communities are being forcibly removed in order to make way for World Cup construction projects. In one year, the budgets for the 12 World Cup stadiums more than doubled without actually building anything. It is difficult to imagine what the final costs will be. If we take the 2007 Pan American Games as a an example the World Cup will be 10 times over budget. US$20 billion in public spending is not out of the question.

• Loans:

The national development bank (BNDES) is providing each World Cup city with R$400 million (US$234 million) in hugely subsidized loans.

The two cities that have refused this money are Porto Alegre and Coritiba. Not surprisingly, these two stadium projects are struggling to find private investors.

Private investors have stayed far, far away from building stadiums in Brazil because it doesn’t make economic sense (this link translated by Google and may contain inaccuracies). One scenario for economic “sustainability” (this link translated by Google and may contain inaccuracies) in post-World Cup Brazil is an average ticket price of $40 with stadium occupancy around 60% for 60 games a year.

Currently, average ticket prices (including all of the free tickets issued by teams, the CBF, etc) runs between R$20-R$25, and stadium capacity is around 30%.

Even reaching these high numbers, it is doubtful that ticket sales alone will be able to cover the debt servicing and maintenance costs. Thus, fans will pay three times for the stadiums: public money for construction, higher ticket prices, and public debt servicing and maintenance. In Cape Town, they’re already talking about destroying the Green Point stadium because there is no tenant and the maintenance costs are crippling the city budget. How are the Athenians feeling about their Olympic expenditures these days? Where is the economic and tourist boom from the 2004 Olympics?

These are problematic facts that generate more questions than answers.

It is difficult to understand why Brazil agreed to spend billions of public dollars on stadiums that have little post-Cup utility, that get turned over to FIFA for two months of massive cash intake, that do not take into consideration the local football culture, and leave behind a sanitized legacy of rapacious consumerism that prevents the general public from using the very public goods they have paid for.

Will The World Cup legacy, in Brazil and South Africa, be one day viewed as a top-down tool for economic development that left behind dubious urban, social, environmental, and social legacies?

The production of World Cup stadiums here in Brazil completely ignores local football cultures, ignores the needs of the people who use the stadiums, and replaces historical spaces with erected masses with no ties to the community and, at present, no means of further healthy occupancy.

Massive public debts are being rung up in order to host a private party for FIFA and its corporate partners. The past is swept aside, rights are trampled, public space privatized, and urban space militarized for the World Cup. This is a terrible model and it needs to be changed.

———-

Coming up, “Debating alternatives...”

Professor Gaffney will be checking the comment section as well if you have questions or comments…

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44 responses to this post.

  1. Wow! This sounds like it has become a very sad situation indeed.

    The alternatives is what I was thinking about throughout the whole piece. I’m glad there will be a piece on that as well.

    Reply

  2. This is quite a sad, damning indictment on a) FIFA’s ability to do a full background check into their host nations’ bids, and b) the people who are runing the Brazil bid, as well as those who spearheaded the South Africa bid in terms of leaving their country with a few White Elephants.

    Reply

  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/02 at 5:45 AM

    I think much of this has to do with Blatter’s “legacy” ego, rather than doing what is right for the sport. Not saying that certain countries should never get the World Cup, but FIFA need to exercise some bleeding common sense.

    I read in the summer that Brazil were already behind deadlines that they promised FIFA that would be easily met.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Crow on 2010/11/02 at 5:59 AM

    I couldn’t quite afford South Africa and now it looks like I won’t be either to afford Brazil either. :( It is a shame.

    Reply

  5. The issue of deadlines is interesting. FIFA was “upset” because most of the stadium projects hadn’t started on time. But, in Rio, they sent the architectural plans back for revision because the architects had not taken into consideration that the advetizing boards surrounding a FIFA football pitch are 30cm higher than those surrounding a Brazilian pitch. So, with the higher advertizing boards, the sightlines would have been inadequate. The result was a month’s long delay in the Maracana project so that the seating angles of the lower bowl of the stadium could be reworked.

    The delays are also somewhat intentional as it’s good not to have a stadium ready too early as they may not be sparkling for the Cup, and of course, delays increase construction costs which inevitably go into the pockets of the constructjon firms who have friends in high places.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/02 at 6:18 AM

      Do you think FIFA will take the unprecedented step to strip Brazil of 2014 and award it to, say, USA?

      Reply

      • Posted by Alex on 2010/11/02 at 6:20 AM

        I´d love to hear a professional opinion to George´s question

        Reply

      • Or anywhere, really. I’m sure the USA isn’t the only country that could handle a World Cup on short notice. England — or really any of the larger European nations.

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/02 at 6:55 AM

          The reason why I never mentioned an European country is that Germany held it in 2006, therefore, the next 2 WC’s cannot be in the same confederation…

          Reply

        • True George, but I’d venture a guess that in an emergency situation they’d suspend that rule.

          I just wonder how stripping Brazil of the WC and awarding it to England or the US would then impact the December 2nd decisions for 2018 and 2022 which currently appear to be England and the US, respectively.

          Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/02 at 6:19 AM

      And BTW, welcome to TSG, *brilliant* article and subject! Thank you.

      Reply

  6. Thanks for the article. Very interesting. I’ve always wondered about the logic of a 2nd world country making a bid to host the World Cup. Clearly they see being the host as a huge validation of their legitimacy (maybe of their acceptance in the world). To get this validation, they seem to be willing to shell out staggering sums of money without considering the repayment schedule or the overall financial wisdom of the investment.

    The point about tourism is a good one. The volume of visitors is very small, and the price of the trip is not encouraging to the kinds of fans who might fill the stadia. As prices rise, the event gets even more gentrified. I could foresee Brazil handing out tens of thousands of free or heavily subsidized tickets to locals to fill the stands, since showing empty venues to a global TV audience would be embarrassing.

    Reply

    • S. Africa did something like this right? Offer lower priced tickets to locals that were offered to richer European / N. American countries?

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/02 at 7:04 AM

        I think I read somewhere that the RSA ticketing was originally exclusively online, which meant the vast amount of South Africans were excluded because they did not have internet access. They started to sell tickets at supermarkets and whatnot as the Cup approached. Not sure if it was because of FIFA pressure due to the embarrassment that not many ‘locals’ were going.

        Reply

        • Yeah, South Africa ended up selling the tickets much cheaper to local residents. I heard anecdotally that many tickets were given away.

          As I recall, though, even South Korea and Japan ended up organized large groups of supporters for each country (I mean South Koreans and Japanese people organized to support other countries.) Some of that might have been a gesture to make the smaller nations feel more welcome, but I bet at least some of it had to do with wanting to mask unsold areas for matches between second-, or third-tier opponents.

          Reply

  7. Posted by Jorge on 2010/11/02 at 8:30 AM

    It’s sad to me that the sport I love is contributing to poverty globally. Look at the situation in the favelas of Brasil or the ‘unseen’ areas of South Africa and these countries’ leaders are willing to go into debt and subsidize costs for profit seeking well connected companies all while ignoring the greater need of its people. The World Cup should be about the world coming together in celebration and unity through sport not about corporate greed. FIFA should be more concerned with preserving the sanctity of this event. But ever since the ‘seeding’ for qualification and the potential ‘seeding’ for the group stages of the tournament some of the luster and innocence of the World Cup has been lost for me. Like all governments absolute power corrupts absolutely and FIFA is no difference. Reading articles like this one sadden me because I become a complicit contributor to the problem when I watch the games.

    Reply

  8. There is NO CHANCE the 2014 World Cup is going to the USA. The geo-political alliances that brought the WC to Brazil will not allow it. Remember that Joao Havelange (a Brazilian) was president of FIFA from 74-98 and his ex son-in-law is Ricardo Teixeira and his granddaughter is the secretary general of the 2014 Cup. The options are to cut some Brazilian cities from the cup if stadiums and airports and hotels aren’t ready. The contracts signed between the LOCs and FIFA are legally binding and there would be some incredible problems if FIFA decided to take the 2014 Cup somewhere else. Besides, Jerome Valcke (FIFA VP) is moving here in January and he will be one of the few people who can afford an apartment.

    It is sad and rediculous what FIFA has done with something that should bring (and does) bring so much joy and possiblity to so many people. The inherent drama and beauty of football is what makes the World Cup special, and FIFA takes that and makes it into something that we feel guilty about loving.

    Reply

    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/11/02 at 9:54 AM

      My guess is if it does go to another country it will be either Argentina or Mexico. The 86 world cup which was highly successful but the original destination was Columbia. Due to economic reasons at the time, it was stripped away from the south american country.

      Difference was that Columbia resigned their bid in 1982, 4 years before the cup and Mexico was awarded it in 83 so they had time to prepare.

      Reply

  9. Well done– brilliant article, lad! Brazil will have to struggle against opacity. Not only do these mega-events tend to promote murky transparency, but Brazil still lacks many of the core transparency mechanisms that advanced democracies enjoy– like a freedom of information law (now in the Senate but facing dubious legislative prospects). A third consecutive PT presidency (and third congressional majority), does not bode well for the sort of political competition that tends to spur demands for greater accountability– whether it be legislation to allow debt-taking, or the disbursement of public monies.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Tux on 2010/11/02 at 10:36 AM

    After reading this I have a hard time accepting the fact that we just had a cup in South Africa, and are en route to holding the next one in a country with even less infrastructure in place. I’d love to know exactly what was said to convince FIFA that Brasil was a good idea – yes, the country has a very strong footie culture, but that doesn’t mean they’re capable of hosting a month-long international sporting event. Ah well, maybe FIFA will learn from this and start considering the bids on something other than how much money they stand to make.

    A possible solution to this issue: instead of allowing a continent to host a cup one out of three, break it down by countries, and make it 20 years between hosting. So Germany’s next eligible in 2026, SA in 2030, etc. (and by this rule, the United States would actually be eligible for 2014 and on)

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/02 at 10:51 AM

      I strongly feel that this is all to do with Blatter and his ego! He wants to look back at his tenure and say he did all of these “firsts”. All bias aside, I think it is crazy that Russia should be considered ahead of England, Spain & Portugal and Belgium & Nehterlands – especially considering the state of Russia’s infrastructure and the amount of money required to make Russia up to FIFA standard.

      Blatter talks about legacy, but nobody at FIFA talks about RSA when the cameras aren’t rolling. Would be interesting to see how these new stadiums and communities around them are doing in 5, 10 years time…

      Reply

      • Not his ego, directly, anyway. It all has to do with getting votes to maintain himself in office. It’s a very dirty business at the top. And Blatter is, to quote John Randolph, “like dead mackerel in the moonlight; he both shines and stinks”

        Reply

  11. Posted by Evan on 2010/11/02 at 11:14 AM

    Great piece. I think it’s important to point out when problems like these arise. FIFA has great intentions when it comes to spreading the game around the world, and therefore spreading wealth around the world. But it’s just not realistic. Brazil and South Africa have massive income inequalities and are not in the position to invest billions in infrastructure. Even Brazil, recognized by some as a rising influence in the world, is going to have a hard time dealing with the logistics of building massive, state-of-the-art stadiums when a large portion of their population doesn’t have access to drinking water. Would there be issues like that in the US? Arguably, yes. Not on the same scale, but questions would arise. FIFA was irresponsible in effectively dumping the financial liabilities of such a huge event onto countries that are ill-equipped to do so.

    Reply

  12. It is impossible for me to accept the idea that FIFA has “honest intentions” in their stewardship of the global game. For instance, they do nothing to prevent child labor in the production of footballers or footballs, profit from the World Cup and other sanctioned tournaments, blackmail countries who insist that there is no difference between sport and politics, while at the same time coddling up to dictators, military regimes, and happily plaing along with abusive abusrdities like SA 2010 and Brazil 2014. Brazil does have the money to build stadium infrastructure, but should they (as Evan points out) use this money for white elephant structures in the midst of extreme income disparity and other pressing soial needs? Building stadiums is the easiest part of hosting a mega-event. Making those investments relevant is not so easy. The sickening part is that there’s not any attempt to make the stadiums or event relevant to cultural or urban contexts, people can see the train wreck coming, and it would appear that there is not that much that can be done. Or is there? Brazil is a fantastically wealthy country, and has the technical, tecnhological, and organizational capacity to host the 2014 Cup. But the FIFA model is a Swiss-German one and not something that is a good fit for Brazil (or South Africa). Profits are what drive FIFA’s decision making, and that has everything and nothing to do with football.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/02 at 1:01 PM

      Please can you elaborate on the “FIFA model being a Swiss-German one” and how this affects non-European nations negatively?

      Reply

      • I don’t want to go too far off the comparative sociology deep end, but I think he is referring to the fact that what FIFA (and to a less extent, the western world) expect a tournament where the trains run on time, everything is clean, lots of police, “It’s a small world after all” *cue disney music*.

        In reality, much of the world just doesn’t run like that, and they don’t even consider it a bad thing. (neither do I, for that matter) Dropping European/American infrastructure into these countries often wont work, and robs them of what makes them unique. But its what we expect, thus other countries try to do it. And we get these concrete monstrosities to nowhere, meanwhile everyone else just jumps on a motorcycle taxi and takes the shortcut through the favela.

        Reply

  13. Posted by Evan on 2010/11/02 at 1:19 PM

    I suppose good intentions was the wrong term. There can be a benefit to spreading the game around though, and FIFA has an economic incentive to do so. But they aren’t transparent with regards to the more political aspects of what they do, and that is a problem, especially considering the amount of money being thrown around. Surely, though, governments and organizing committees deserve blame. Without knowing if it this was the case, I can’t imagine there was much resistance to this bid from many politicians, or their constituents. I have to think that there were many people who wanted the event in Brazil without thinking about the externalities involved. For the LOC to expect to advertise that their bid would be done without any public money is absurd. FIFA’s mandate is just to get the stadiums and necessary infrastructure done, with their leverage being they’ll pull the event if things don’t go their way. One would think that, given the state of the global financial markets, FIFA would want to emphasize to the public that projects are being done in a cost-effective and transparent manner. But the bids put forth for a decision in December of 2010 are nothing more than “bigger is better” with a dash of sustainability. I think anyone could tell you that the problem is lack of incentive for FIFA to change, and until no one enters a bid for a World Cup in the future, that probably won’t change.

    Reply

  14. Posted by kaya on 2010/11/02 at 3:06 PM

    So where does Brazil stand in terms of readiness compared to S. Africa in 2006? I didn’t follow the infrastructure timeline closely in the runup to the last cycle, but I recall lots of talk about how S. Africa wouldn’t be ready and threats of sending the WC elsewhere due to lack of readiness.
    Without knowing any particulars, I’d have to think if S. Africa “pulled it off” (current economic realities notwithstanding), there’s absolutely no way Brazil won’t make it happen… it’s 4 times the size economy-wise of S. Africa.

    Reply

  15. [...] Posted 2010/11/02 by cosmosredux in World Cup 2014. Leave a Comment Read the first part on “The Bastardization of Brazil 2014″ here. [...]

    Reply

  16. [...] wide-circle of corruption, investment failures and infrastructure nightmares that have already “bastardized” the CONMEBOL nation’s efforts to prepare, and appear to be threatening to leave Bra… There’s time to right the ship, to be sure, but Gaffney’s piece is a must read on the host of [...]

    Reply

  17. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/04 at 10:08 AM

    Chris:

    With less that one month until FIFA announces their decision, what are your thoughts and opinions re. host nations & 2018 and 2022?

    Reply

    • Especially in light of FIFA now saying that England is on Thin Ice due to the BBC’s expose on the corruption/bribery/etc. If FIFA really would do something like this because of a nation’s news agency, then it appears Russia has the upper hand with the US having bowed out a couple of weeks back…

      Reply

  18. Sorry to all for the delay in responding but there’s a mega-event conference going on in Rio this week that is keeping me busy.

    The question is not whether or not Brazil will be “ready” or be able to “pull it off”, but what that means in the short and long term, for cities and cultures, economies and politics. There is, of course, SOME benefit to hosting the WC but those tend to be short term economic and intangible benefits like national pride, experiential residues, etc. Who runs the cost / benefit analyses? Where are the FIFA auditors? Shouldn’t someone be minding the till? There is NO QUESTION that FIFA is a corrupt insitution. The British journalist Andrew Jennings (transparencyinsport.org) has proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt. There is typically NO local opposition to hosting the World Cup at any level of government. Only civil society organizations are aware (or appear to be aware) of the damage left behind by the World Cup. I’ve heard some depressing tales of forced removal, absurd transportation projects, planned white elephants, and a gernal violation of law and urban planning statutes, not to mention that budgets are overblown, and local and national politiicians are supplicating to their FIFA overlords. Herr Splatter is even coming to Brazil in December to meet with the new Brazilian president (a PT puppet if you ask me).

    So, what about 2018 and 2022? Why choose both now? Herr Splatter’s days may be numbered and he wants to extract maximum tribute while he can? Possibly. Contries need to plan further ahead? Doubtuful. Who knows…and in the end it only matters in so far as some nations will get to have the World Cup in their backyard and others won’t. My guess is that one of the tow is going to go to the Middle East or Russia and the other is going to be in Europe. The USA is, in what is really an unbiased opinion, a good choice because nothing has to be built (principally because most USA cities have already subsidized stadiums with public money because of the monopoly conditions of professional sports, but that’s another article). There are msasive stadiums, massive transport networks, massive supplies of hotel rooms, international flights from Asia, Europe, and South America. So, give one to the USA and one to Quatar, the UAE, Yemen, wherever, just to keep the prto-dollars flowing into FIFA right before we hit peak oil. Cynical? Yup. FIFA IS AN ORGANIZED CRIME FAMILY. The evidence is irrefutable.

    pckglore was right about my ideas of “modeliing”: Why does Brazil need to have European model stadiums in order to host the World Cup? It’s a joke. Brazilian football culture is unique and the World Cup will appropriate and destroy it. The Germans had some creative solutions to the FIFA-terror, but I’m afraid that here the results will not be positive.

    Keep the comments and discussion going people. This is super interesting. Also I want to make people aware of the “Football Scholars Forum”, where there are active disucssions about global football going on all the time.

    Reply

  19. [...] I commented in my previous article, the 2014 Local Organizing Committee is headed by five [...]

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  20. [...] the status quo. They’ve made assurances they’ll build more, but those are just assurances and the recent problems with stadium construction and infrastructure in South Africa and Brazil are enou… While it is true that there is no shortage of money behind the Qatar bid—oil money corrects a [...]

    Reply

  21. [...] entries in the series: I, II Not going off without a [...]

    Reply

  22. Posted by Jeff on 2011/10/19 at 2:12 AM

    “Green Point stadium because there is no tenant and the maintenance costs are crippling the city budget.”

    Why are there no soccer or rugby teams to play games in a beautiful modern stadium in Cape Town? I don’t get it…

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/19 at 7:15 AM

      Because there is Newlands not so far away… and the rugby team do not want to move.

      Reply

  23. [...] Federal Fluminese in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism, Brazil is going to experience the same pains that South Africa is currently experiencing. All twelve of the selected stadiums have to either be renovated or constructed, and the costs are [...]

    Reply

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