The World Cup is meant to be an event that unifies nations from across the world, it should showcase the true beauty of the game and bring people from any background together. However in the case of Brazil 2014 it has done quite the opposite, the games have caused havoc in the streets, creating a divide between the people of Brazil and the elitists; with the 99% fighting against the 1% in a battle over the corruptness of the politicians and FIFA’s own Sepp Blatter.
Brazil hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup has led to the construction of 12 new stadiums, with the cost estimated to be around £2.4 billion which is staggering enough for any country, let alone one that is riddled with poverty and lacking spending on vital public services. The ever-increasing cost of the World Cup has led to growing protests in the city, with many showcasing their disgust of the corruption of FIFA and the Brazilian government. The money spent on the tournament could have been used to improve the country’s infrastructure, improving the education system and investing in healthcare.
But at least these stadiums will raise some revenue for the economy right? No, not exactly.
Instead of building a new stadium for a big club such as Santos which currently has a measly 16,ooo capacity stadium, FIFA and the Brazilian Football Confederation decided to build the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, a massive 72,000 stadium in the city of Brasília. This would make sense seeing it’s located in the capital city of Brazil, however paying £550 million for a stadium that will be used by team in the 4th tier of Brazilian football doesn’t seem quite such a good idea. (Imagine a 72,000 seater stadium being built for Dagenham and Redbridge)
At £550 million, it is the 2nd most expensive football stadium behind Wembley at £780 million, both costs seem completely bewildering considering that Wembley will be used just over 10 times a year (for football purposes) and the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha will do well to fill a quarter of its stadium throughout the year.
So with a state of the art stadium being given to a low league team, how they will manage to maintain and afford the costs of the stadium? As the club do not own it, the Department of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation of Distrito Federal do, this may cause problems for side from the capital. This could mean we will we see a repeat of what happened with the Ricoh Arena in Coventry(Large disagreements over rent costs resulted in them being uprooted and playing 42 miles away); resulting in local club Brasília having to move back into the Estádio Antônio Otoni Filho where they currently play, meaning a 72,000 stadium will be left empty and unused. Whilst in the meantime more people are homeless, starving and living in complete poverty.
The fight against FIFA has grown exponentially over the past few months, with media exposure of the protests and not to mention the acts being performed by the B.O.P.E, a special forces unit of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State in Brazil, they have killed innocent civilians and destroyed favelas in order to ‘clean up the city’. Thankfully these acts have not gone unnoticed, famous figure heads have joined the battle such as footballing legend Eric Cantona; who made a documentary on Brazilian football and politics. Below is an interview where he talks about the wrongdoings in the spiritual home of football.