Brazilians often say they can organize a party like no one else. And there is some truth in it, just take a look at carnival, the biggest street party in the world. Millions of people get together in cities all over the country without invitation or advertisement. They dance, have fun, get drunk and go home… or back to their hotels, that is, if they were fortunate enough to find one. Continue reading »
As anyone in London will know by now, hosting a major sporting events is about more than just the sport. It’s also about making lots of money and the main contest is attracting investment.
A report this week from Grant Thornton, a corporate finance consultancy, suggests emerging market hosts rate their chances of cashing in from big events more highly than their peers in developed markets. Continue reading »
The tension of the 2014 football World Cup final will be nothing compared to the nail-biting race to see if Brazil can actually finish the stadiums on time, it seems.
With 755 days now to go until the tournament kicks off, Brazil’s ministry of sport has released another update on its preparations.
Of the 101 World Cup projects Brazil has planned, which include everything from new stadiums to transport improvements, construction has still not begun on about 41 per cent of them. Continue reading »
There have long been fears that President Dilma Rousseff might one day be overwhelmed by infighting in her enormous coalition, which at last count was comprised of 17 parties.
Lacking the charisma of her predecessor, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Dilma has a different style, commonly known as “kick butt”. She simply replaces those who fall out of line. Continue reading »
WANTED: Sweet-natured Latin American to replace Ricardo Teixeira on FIFA’s executive committee. Must have experience of paying taxes, cooperating with police investigations, resisting kickbacks from advertisers and not selling votes. An ability to organise a multi-billion dollar football tournament in Brazil while overseeing the complete transformation of the country’s airports, public transport networks, and security standards in two years is a plus. Immediate start. Continue reading »
Football is normally a source of great pride for most Brazilians but the events of the past few weeks have made the sporting industry look more like one of the country’s farcical ‘telenovelas’.
On Monday, Ricardo Teixeira, the boss of Brazil’s Football Confederation and the man in charge of preparations to host the 2014 World Cup, quit. It brings a rather colourful tenure to an untimely end. Continue reading »
“We are definitely prepared for the World Cup,” said Merina Aragao, a tourism official in Salvador, the northeastern city with Brazil’s second-largest Carnival celebrations behind Rio de Janeiro. “After organizing this grandiose party which is the Carnival in Salvador, we will certainly be able to handle the challenges of the World Cup.”
That’s from an Associated Press story on Thursday. You have to ask whether officials might have got a bit carried away by the past week’s party mood. Continue reading »
You have to wonder what’s going on at the Brazilian Football Confederation, the body that runs the game in the land of Pelé.
Ricardo Teixeira, the confederation’s head, has named former striking star Bebeto to the committee charged with organizing the 2014 World Cup. Bebeto will line up alongside another former World Cup winner, Ronaldo. Continue reading »
The collapse of three buildings in the centre of Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday night – leaving at least 19 people missing – raises fresh questions about the city’s infrastructure as it prepares to co-host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
It should also give pause to those who say Brazil’s recent rise to prosperity has allowed it to leave behind its “emerging market” status. No matter how much has been achieved and no matter how great Brazil’s potential, it must still deal with a heavy legacy of the past. Continue reading »
For many football fans the world over, half the fun of match day is having a beer with your mates.
In Brazil, that pleasure takes place some time before and after the action because alcohol may not be sold inside grounds. But with the football World Cup just around the corner, FIFA is putting its foot down and insisting the host of the 2014 championship do right by its sponsors and sell beers made by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, inside the 12 participating stadiums. Continue reading »
Brazilian soccer boss Ricardo Teixeira is under the microscope again amid reports that the country’s federal police have opened an investigation into allegations of corruption against him.
The chief of Brazil’s soccer federation for 22 years and the head of the local organizing committee of the country’s efforts to stage the World Cup in 2014, Teixeira is no stranger to controversy. Continue reading »
As Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff kicks off her first visit to Europe as leader of Latin America’s largest country this week, one of the toughest meetings on her agenda promises to be with Fifa, the governing body of soccer.
The president is set to meet officials of the body amid differences between Brazil and soccer officials over issues ranging from the country’s preparations for the World Cup to even, reportedly, the cost of tickets. Continue reading »
Brazil’s sports minister Orlando Silva said on Thursday a combination of factors including a hot construction industry was pushing up the cost of preparing for the soccer World Cup in 2014.
The government is building 2m new homes for its low-cost housing programme, “Minha Casa, Minha Vida”, or My House, My Life, as well as two of the world’s biggest hydropower plants. These projects and the strong economy have absorbed most of Brazil’s construction capacity, driving up costs, said Silva in a conference call with journalists.
The strange thing is that Silva’s estimates for the cost increase are so modest as to be hard to believe. Continue reading »
After three years of indecision, wrangling and petty infighting, Fifa looks set to bite the bullet and declare that the opening match of the 2014 World Cup will take place at the Itaquerão stadium, the still-to-be-built home of Corinthians, São Paulo’s biggest club.
It may be a bit late but the deal, as announced, looks tidy. But big question remain about how much the stadium will really cost – and when it will be ready for use. Continue reading »
By Andrew Downie in São Paulo
More news about Brazil’s World Cup preparation and guess what, it’s news about delays and overspending.
The São Paulo arena earmarked to host the opening game three years from now has yet to get off the drawing board. Now reports say builders Odebrecht quote the new price of the stadium as 1.07bn reais, almost three times the original price.
Most infrastructure projects – and almost every sporting event – suffer from cost overruns. Brazil has its own experience with the 2007 Pan American Games, which was six times over budget and left almost no hotel, transport, security or infrastructure legacy for the citizens of host city Rio de Janeiro. Continue reading »