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Tue. May 21st, 2024

Activists demonstrate in front of riot police outside the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia

In the wake of the 2010 World Cup, hosted by South Africa, the country is still reeling with the economic setbacks caused by building a stadium they were only going to use once. Brazil is mirroring their situation as the country hosts this years World Cup, building extravagant additions to the country in the way of 12 stadiums, costing  over $3,000, with South Africa’s stadiums numbering 10 with a cost of over $2,000 in 2010, according to FiveThirtyEightEconomics.

The cost of general infrastructure “improvements” numbered about $2 billion in South Africa. Brazil spent over $11 billion.

“It was a success for FIFA and the corporate sponsors made a lot of money, but it left local businesses and the state floundering,” said Johannesburg-based researcher Dale McKinley in an article on BBC News about South Africa struggling after the 2010 World Cup.

“They first promised to supply water, upgrade houses and roads. But they just built the stadium and disappeared,” said Imaan Milanzi, a community liaison officer, in the article.

Both issues could possibly arise in Brazil once the games are over, with the government promising to improve upon the country, and that the games will bring prosperity to Brazil not just the pockets of FIFA officials who obviously do not care about the countries they visit every four years like marauding warbands.

“We are not ready,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke in regards to the status of stadium completion in early April, mentioned in Associate Press  article. Rampant crime and general unrest that has plagued Brazil since last year when the protests reached its height never seemed to be considered.

“Even if FIFA gave us all the money it made, that’s not going to address all the poverty and inequality [in South Africa],” said Danny Jordaan, president of  the South African Football Association, in the BBC News. This is a sentiment also shared by Brazilians, on both sides of the fence. Some argue Brazil never should’ve hosted the World Cup with its current problems. Economically and socially the country is inviable as it struggles with having one of the highest murder rates in the world at number 18 with 25.2 per 100,000 people, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) ranking in 2012.

Brazillians have voiced their displeasure with numerous protests, with the combined efforts of both middle-class college students and the denizens of the favelas. It is in reaction to the lack of funding for hospitals, schools, and general frustration on how the money was spent for the extravagance of the World Cup. The people are worried that this money will only add to the problems of the countries and do hardly anything to alleviate them.

It looks like Brazil will be left how South Africa was left in 2010.

“The officials are just there to make money from the stadiums and leave them in their current situation,” said Imaan Milanzi.

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