As we bask in the greatness of Germany and the final from Sunday, we also have to deal with the realisation that the World Cup has now ended. A tournament that has been argued to be the best World Cup many have witnessed, with an average of about 2/3 goals a game. To be able to see the impact of the early samba party atmosphere on the Brazil team and to watch great moments such as Van Persie’s goal versus Spain and James Rodriguez versus Uruguay are highlights that will be played time and time again and has been etched into football history.
However as we watch the confetti fall and leave that all behind us to start looking towards the new domestic season that awaits, we should take a second to see the consequences this World Cup has had on its host city.
Before the tournament even started there has been trouble within Brazil due to the amount of money being spent on the World Cup even though so many are in poverty surrounding the new stadiums. Not only that, in the rush to get the stadiums ready for this summer, it has cost some people their lives. There have been 8 deaths to be precise. Then as the tournament is underway to have a freeways collapse and fall on traffic which should have been completed before the start of the tournament does raise some questions about the quality and care taken on each project. A further two people lost their lives and many others were injured. Where were their commemorations? I didn’t see one mention of this throughout the tournament and believe the final should’ve had some sort of recognition.
Watching “Rio in Rio” by the BBC the other night emphasises the significance of these issues, and the results due to the lack of attention being put on the locals and a lack of interest from the government in Brazil on the effect they are having on the community due to what they are building around them being only useful for tourists and not helping them on a day to day basis.
I find it great that sporting events can improve areas and allow people to go to these countries and discover different cultures and make us more aware of the problems and the great things about a country such as Brazil. To see countries like Germany hiring workers from the local area and doing all sorts of community work is priceless and is what the World Cups is great for and we want to see more of. For a period it brought Brazil together and gave them something to believe in, (until the semi finals). A lady when asked by Rio Ferdinand about the work being done in her area, she said she doesn’t hate the World Cup, just how they’ve brought it there. This raises all sorts of questions with FIFA with all the failed deadlines etc, how they can keep making these decisions and get away with it because of a “Great” tournament is beyond me. It would benefit everyone if FIFA brought more tournaments to countries that are ready for it because having a country that you want to bring the sport to but doesn’t have the structure or the correct timeline we wouldn’t see workers being overworked or people losing their lives over it. For example give one tournament to a European country say in 2022 and give Qatar more time to deal with issues if they insist on holding it there.
Then to have the party on the pitch end in such disastrous fashion, it took all the wind out of their sails and has just heightened the troubles in the country and with those tears in the stadium brought them back to reality, the party had ended. This could be a turning point on the field after such a disappointing performance, to come fourth at your home games in such a way. But off the field, where will the changes come. Because all we are seeing is that the tournament however great it has been, has left the country in more troubles then in came with. It seems a lot of the money hasn’t been spent it all the right way or in the right areas and that’s a huge shame for the legacy of Brazils World Cup, but it shouldn’t be forgotten or brushed under the carpet.