Brazil

Expensive World Cup Preparations, Anti-World Cup Protests Continue in Brazil; Part of Stadium Roof Collapses

Less than six months from the first march!

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till the lights go out
Playback/Globo

When FIFA awarded Brazil the 2014 World Cup in 2007 (more or less a given because FIFA rules required the tournament to be held in South America, and the South American soccer body endorsed Brazil's bid), Brazilians took to the streets to celebrate. Last year the mood turned sour; local protests over rising bus fares eventually spread across the country, carried by frustration over government spending on the World Cup. Those protests continue; anti-World Cup demonstrations in Sao Paolo reportedly became violent over the weekend.

The Brazilian government insisted preparations for the World Cup would cost less than $1 billion, and be financed largely by private investor, when it first launched its bid. Thanks in large part to cronyism, the costs have ballooned; building up the infrastructure for the World Cup cost Brazil $3.5 billion as of last summer, when the opening game was still a year away. The tournament is now less than six months from kicking off, and six of the 12 stadiums promised in the bid are still under construction.  Last week, part of the roof of one of those uncompleted stadiums collapsed because of heavy rains and winds, while FIFA issued an ultimatum to the city where another uncompleted stadium is located giving them four weeks to finish or risk having games scheduled there moved to another city. Just another reason you might want to hold off on buying tickets to the tournament just yet.

Related: The Brazilian national soccer team is only ranked #10 in the latest FIFA rankings which may be why the AP is asking today what might happen if Brazil doesn't win the World Cup, as it failed to do the last time it hosted it, in 1950, in a finals loss a deputy sports minister insisted remained a "trauma" for the country.

More Reason on Brazil.