Monday, 23 June 2014

The world cup in Brazil and the protest movement

So we are now into the 3rd week of the world cup 2014 in Brazil and so far its been a very entertaining exciting tournament going rather well from the football point of view unless you are a England fan of course but we wont go there . Lots was made of Brazil hosting this world cup and would it be ready or not in time. The stadium were all completed just in time and no big troubles in terms of the organisation appears to have arisen . But the protest movement which caught everyone by surprise last year in the confederations cup has not gone away. Maybe the big numbers are not there but certainly the anger and feeling about this not being a world cup for Brazil more for FIFA the world governing body of international football. Writing for the BBC Tim Vickery who is the BBC's fantastic South American football expert detailed how much tension there was over the hosting of this world cup in Brazil and notably the cost involved which the public would take the majority of the burden. Tim wrote "In 2008 a poll by the Datafolha Agency in the widely respected Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper showed 79% support for the World Cup in Brazil. By April of this year another poll by the same agency showed this had fallen to 48%. Many people are more reluctant to associate themselves with a competition that has become a public relations disaster. The anti-World Cup protests will not go away because there is plenty to protest about. There is the poor organisation - starting with the absurd delay in naming the host cities and the insistence on 12 when Fifa would have been happy with eight, while for years there was no government representation on the local organising committee - a bizarre flaw in a tournament that has implications for public spending. And many people believe that officials have taken the support of the people for granted and made empty promises. Hosting the competition has cost the country more than it should, and in return is giving back less than it should. The cost of the stadiums is now in the region of £2.4bn, three times more than the figure quoted in 2007. Four of the stadiums - in Manaus, Cuiaiba, Brasilia and Natal - would seem to have little prospect of long-term viability, meaning that there was no chance of private funding being attracted to build them. There were widespread protests in Brazil during the Confederations Cup Support of the population was cynically taken for granted, with empty promises that all of the money spent on stadiums would be from private sources. Luis Fernandes, the Ministry of Sports representative who was very belatedly brought on to the local organising committee, has been big enough to recognise that "this speech never corresponded to reality". The lack of debate in Brazilian society about the competition and its objectives has returned to bite the authorities where it hurts. Certainly, the authorities got a massive shock last year during the Confederations Cup when Brazilians took to the streets in huge numbers to show their displeasure at the amount of public spending on a football tournament. No-one saw it coming, but the protest movement is a reality that now has to be dealt with - especially as this is election year in Brazil, and some will be looking to turn dissatisfaction with the World Cup into votes. The great hope of the authorities is that the power of the event will work its magic. This is not just a forlorn desire. The atmosphere in the country through June and July is sure to be very special; over half a million visitors from all over the planet will be traipsing across the country, giving Brazil an unusual cosmopolitan air, and with over 60% of the tickets being snapped up by Brazilians, there is clearly considerable local enthusiasm for the event also, however well hidden. " So far we have seen some protests and i can see them picking up if Brazil happen to go out of the world cup early on or if there is heavy policing of the protests which have largely been peaceful up till now. Whatever happens in the rest of the tournament the feeling of injustice of a world cup and its cost being forced on the Brazilian people is not going away anytime soon. with thanks to Tim Vickery south american football expert of the BBC

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