SBD/Issue 36/Events & Attractions

Brazil To Host 2014 World Cup, But Will The Country Be Prepared?

The FIFA Exec Committee yesterday in Zurich unanimously selected Brazil to host the 2014 World Cup. Brazil became the sole choice on the ballot after Colombia withdrew a bid in April. FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that the “lack of competition from other South American nations was one reason” why the continental rotation system was eliminated. Meanwhile, the 2011 Women’s World Cup was awarded to Germany (AP, 10/30).

READY OR NOT: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Jonathan Wheatley writes the announcement "received a mixed reception" in Brazil. While some are "overjoyed" the country will host its first World Cup since '50, the news also "stirred a degree of skepticism over Brazil's suitability as host nation" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/31). FIFA inspectors said that the Brazil Football Federation (CBF) had estimated a US$1.136B budget "for building and renewing the grounds." Facilities are "so basic at present that most of the stadiums are not equipped for television commentary" (LONDON TIMES, 10/31). SI.com's Tim Vickery reported FIFA and CBF authorities agree the country "doesn't currently possess a single stadium which is up to the task of staging a World Cup match." Vickery: "A lot of work will have to be done. Significant investment will be needed." CBF President Ricardo Teixeira "is unwilling to risk losing support by excluding cities from the project," but that means with about six and a half years until the World Cup, plans "are still very sketchy." The country will build a maximum of four new stadiums with other stadiums being remodeled, a project "that usually works out more expensive than starting a construction from scratch." Brazil is "aiming to maintain the current structure" of their stadiums with fans "miles away from the action." Vickery: "If this position is maintained, Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup with stadiums that are obsolete before the work has even started" (SI.com, 10/30).

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