Brazilian Government Handed Red Card by its Population Ahead of Soccer World Cup, Olympics

by GLapierre on October 17, 2013 - 7:06pm

Ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, controversy currently emerges in Brazil. Somewhat in the same vein as the first one I summarized, the CBC article Brazil protests show cost of hosting major sports events, posted on June 29th, 2013, explores and presents the downside of hosting such worldwide, mega-happenings.

Since last June, the amount of protests – now called “soccer riots” in the media – has significantly increased, in Brazil. Indeed, on June 20th, a million people – from about 80 Brazilian cities – took down the streets to protest against the massive spending of the state in the perspective of hosting the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics, in 2014 and 2016. In consideration of the issues and deficiencies encountered by the country’s education and healthcare systems – which translate into major social disparities –, the protesters decry the government’s investments – totalizing to this day 28 billion reals ($12.7 billion) only for the World Cup (that is, this amount will grow with the forthcoming expenses of the 2016 Olympics).

Moreover, doubts are raised regarding the viability of organizing such events; for instance, Stefan Szymanski, sports economist and co-author of the book Soccernomics, claims that there are "only very limited economic benefits" to it. He goes on by saying that “for example, the construction of the required infrastructures really just displaces other construction activity” – instead of creating new activity and boosting the economy, as governments tend to claim. Nothing to ease and/or diminish the ongoing tensions…

Since the spark was lit by a rise in the bus fares, Dilma Rousseff’s government announced by the end of June that it would invest $23 billion more in public transportation. However, to this day, it didn’t have the expected effect on the contestation wave; the fire seems there to stay…

As far as I am concerned, more than one group holds a part of responsibility in this fiasco. Such spending is a complete non-sense, given, for example, the poverty that reigns in the favelas of Rio (some neighborhoods infamously known for their extremely low standards of living and high crime rates). However, the Brazilian government can barely do something about it. Indeed, look at how London, Beijing, and other previous venues spectacularly and grandiosely hosted the Olympics, and you will agree that Rio effectively has tremendous efforts to deploy in order to match the standards they established.

In my opinion, the real convicts are the FIFA and the IOC. After all, as Norman O’Reilly, professor of sports management at the University of Ottawa sums it up in the article, they have deliberately chosen to “stage mega-events in developing countries in order to extend their reach”, despite that it may potentially “highlight the income disparities between the moneyed elite and the rest of the nation”. In the future, they ought to consider such factors in order to prevent and avoid massively controversial situations like the one we are witnessing in Brazil. Isn’t it sadly ironical that Brazil, arguably the Mecca of soccer, hands a red card to its government ahead of the World Cup – which should be a giant fiesta?

Furthermore, in the interest of equality and affordability, I would invite the FIFA and the IOC to consider the idea of enforcing a budget limit before awarding their events to cities and countries all over the world…

Until then, they might see, just as in Brazil, lots of “Go Home” signs in their less wealthy venues.

 

Source article (CBC): http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/brazil-protests-show-cost-of-hosting-major-sports-events-1.1358504.

FIFA: Fédération Internationale de Football Association – Worldwide soccer governing body.

IOC:  International Olympic Committee.

Comments

Your article is very relevant of the situation in Brazil right now, are really well inform about the situation. I know because I got one friend who lives in Brazil and we both loves soccer, but he keeps reminds me of all the problem that the organisation of the World Cup is causing in his country. However, you have to keep in mind that it creates a lot of jobs for the local people and it will modernise the public transport system and the infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro and the cities around. Also, it will put Brazil on the map for the next few years.

The world has become wild now a days and Brazil is no exception. This article relates to me because I have had a crazy life as these people have. It seems the world is going bad. Maybe it is the end of the world. This article has a great explanation of a wonderful article. You did a great job. I hope the riots in Brazil helps to actually make a change. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

The title of your article drew me in because I am a big soccer fan, along with my family, and I am excited about the upcoming World Cup. My family and I also really enjoy watching the Olympics. I have always wondered how expensive it is to build the enormous, beautiful stadiums in the many countries that are in charge of hosting the World Cup every four years. The Olympics also requires many new structures to be built. It is very interesting to learn that much of the country is upset with all the money they are spending on these massive events, instead of spending the money on where it is needed. I like how you pointed out the irony in the fact that Brazil is a big soccer nation, and they are complaining about the World Cup being hosted in their country. This means that they are very upset with the money issue, and all the effort that is being put into the two major events, instead of into their own country’s problems. I agree with you that it would be a good idea to limit the amount of money that should be spent, and how ridiculous it is to have these events in developing countries that should be spending money on things to improve their country. You made some really great points about your article, and did a good job of pulling out some important facts to summarize.

I am a big soccer fan, and I am about as excited as a person can get for next year’s World Cup. I knew that Brazil was hosting next year, and with Brazil having the best soccer tradition of any country, I was expecting that the Brazilian people would be ecstatic that they are hosting the World Cup. I had no idea that this was happening in Brazil. I feel like the government is spending way too much money for the World Cup that they cannot afford to lose. They need to know that they still need to focus on the economy right now and not focus so much on investing. Brazil should be focused on making maximum profits from this world cup because they will get most of this money back once the games begin. However, they are spending more than they should just to make a good impression on the world when their country itself is very poor.
I have to disagree with your view that FIFA and the IOC are the bad guys in this scenario. FIFA choses to host these events in poorer areas in order to give their economy a push in the right direction. Hosting the World Cup and the Olympics are two of the largest ways to get money toward their economy. They will both have hundreds of thousands of people at each event, all of whom are paying for a ticket, and most will be buying food, and some will be buying souvenirs. These are huge ways to help a countries economy and are ways to make massive amounts of money. I like your idea of FIFA putting a budget on the cities and countries that are hosting these events, and I would encourage FIFA and the IOC to enforce this.

I am a big soccer fan, and I am about as excited as a person can get for next year’s World Cup. I knew that Brazil was hosting next year, and with Brazil having the best soccer tradition of any country, I was expecting that the Brazilian people would be ecstatic that they are hosting the World Cup. I had no idea that this was happening in Brazil. I feel like the government is spending way too much money for the World Cup that they cannot afford to lose. They need to know that they still need to focus on the economy right now and not focus so much on investing. Brazil should be focused on making maximum profits from this world cup because they will get most of this money back once the games begin. However, they are spending more than they should just to make a good impression on the world when their country itself is very poor.
I have to disagree with your view that FIFA and the IOC are the bad guys in this scenario. FIFA choses to host these events in poorer areas in order to give their economy a push in the right direction. Hosting the World Cup and the Olympics are two of the largest ways to get money toward their economy. They will both have hundreds of thousands of people at each event, all of whom are paying for a ticket, and most will be buying food, and some will be buying souvenirs. These are huge ways to help a countries economy and are ways to make massive amounts of money. I like your idea of FIFA putting a budget on the cities and countries that are hosting these events, and I would encourage FIFA and the IOC to enforce this.

There are many good points made about FIFA and IOC's affects on the hosting government of World Cup and the Olympics. The amount of money that a county spends to host the World Cup is unbelievable. You did a great job in proving that Brazil could not afford to spend billions of dollars to host these events.
"$12.7 billion spent only for the World Cup. This amount will grow with the forthcoming expenses of the 2016 Olympics."
THis really puts into perspective, the amount of money that is potentially being spent. In order to make your argument even stronger, you should talk about the effects the World Cup had on other countries. Did other countries suffer ecumenically? This is just a way to show that it is in deed not the Brazilian government's fault. Instead, they should blame FIFA and IOC.

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