Eevee’s Dan Pritchard takes a look at Brazil’s preparation in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup and asks, were the South-America hosts ever going to be ready…
With the deaths of two men – tragically killed building a stadium in Sao-Paolo – becoming just another note on the already long list of mistakes made in the build up to the 2014 World Cup, the question we have to ask ourselves is: was Brazil ever ready?
It’s not very often that you hear a man of Sepp Blatter’s “stature” admitting that he could have made a mistake. And yet, this is exactly what he did back in July. The FIFA president began his uncharacteristic backtracking after this year’s Confederations Cup ended with around one million people taking to the streets to protest over mass spending by the Brazilian government. According to Bloomberg News, Blatter stated:
“If this happens again we have to question whether we made the wrong decision awarding the hosting rights.” He then went on to add that, “The government is now aware that next year the World Cup shouldn’t be disturbed.”
Still, he was at pains to dismiss reports that the tournament may be stripped from Brazil because of the protests, saying: “People are using the platform of football and the international media presence to make certain demonstrations. It will be a wonderful competition.”
Blatter’s faith however, is surely being tested.
A recent article on the BBC’s news website exposed the alarming disarray of the country’s stadium construction plans. “With FIFA’s end of year deadline looming, several stadiums are well behind schedule and the host city, Cuiaba has told the BBC that not only will it be unable to finish its stadium on time, but there are not even enough hotel rooms for visiting supporters.”
The exact timeline of the project remains unclear; however, with a little over 7 months until competition kick-off, the South-American nation will almost certainly be the recipient of some fairly nervous glances by FIFA officials.
It’s important to state that there is absolutely no harm in being behind deadlines. For an example of this, one need only look at the recent 2012 Olympics, and London’s seemingly ‘last minute’ dash to finalise preparations. However, to admit that a stadium will not be finished at all is surely a step too far. Worse still, the problem might never have existed had Brazil not been overly ambitious with their original construction plans.
The South American hosts were initially informed that in order to meet FIFA regulations, they would need to construct around 8 stadiums. However, due to the popularity of the sport, these plans were quickly expanded to include a further 4 venues. This decision to construct 12 entirely new stadiums was almost entirely based on increasing potential revenue. Unfortunately, tardiness and tragic accidents have made it abundantly clear that, in this case, the Brazilian Government may have bitten off far more than it could chew.
It’s this pressure of deadlines that led to two men sadly losing their lives. It’s almost impossible to escape the idea that the squeeze coming from the Brazilian Government had made them speed construction. This pressure very likely contributed to them making a mistake, which ultimately led to their deaths.
With three major errors already, it does make people wonder what’s around the corner for the 2014 World Cup. If Brazil can somehow get their stadiums finished on time, the expected income from the World will almost certainly provide a boost to the country’s finances. All that remains is for fans of the beautiful game to hope that, with the nation’s famous samba spirit, they can put on a high quality tournament next year.