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SBD Global/June 6, 2014/International Football

Pew Research Center Survey: Majority Of Brazilians Say World Cup Bad For Brazil

Brazilians protest the World Cup on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.
A new survey shows that few Brazilians see hosting the the World Cup "as advantageous for their country," according to Marjorie Connelly of the N.Y. TIMES. In the survey by the Pew Research Center, 61% of respondents said that holding the competition in Brazil "was bad for the country because it took resources from schools, health care and other public services." Just 34% said that the World Cup, whose events will be held in 12 cities, "would create jobs and help the economy." Brazilians "are also split over how the World Cup will affect the country’s image around the world." Thirty-five percent said that "it would enhance Brazil’s position," 39% said that "it would hurt Brazil," and 23% said that "it would have no effect" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/5). REUTERS reported Brazilians "will be left with some of the world's costliest" football stadiums and few of the public transport improvements they were promised when the final whistle blows. The "signature project in public transportation was to be Latin America's first bullet train," a $16B high-speed rail service linking Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It "never made it off the drawing board." Gil Castello Branco of Contas Abertas, a private group that monitors government spending, said, "The jump to modernity never happened, and the stadiums are a herd of white elephants" (REUTERS, 6/5). XINHUA reported only six of the 12 World Cup stadiums "will offer free wi-fi so fans can connect to the Internet from the bleachers." According to the union of Brazilian telecom firms, Sinditelebrasil, wi-fi service "will not be ready in time at the stadiums in Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Recife, Curitiba and Natal." Brazilian officials "wanted to turn all the stadiums into wi-fi hotspots to avoid overloading the 2G, 3G or 4G services during the games, but succeeded in equipping only the venues in Brasilia, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus and Cuiaba" (XINHUA, 6/3).

: In Bangkok, Wassana Nanuam wrote football fans in Thailand "have to watch the World Cup tournament at home due to the curfew, unless they are in tourist areas where the restriction has been lifted." After the National Council for Peace and Order lifted the night curfew in Pattaya City, Koh Samui in Surat Thani province and Phuket island on Tuesday to help the tourism industry, "football fanatics were hopeful the junta would also give them a break by easing the curfew elsewhere during the tournament in Brazil." NCPO spokesperson Winthai Suwaree "brought down their hopes on Thursday." He said that the World Cup is not the only factor for consideration, "as the junta also looked at security concerns when deciding the fate of the curfew" (BANGKOK POST, 6/5). The BANGKOK POST reported a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce revealed that Thais are expected to spend nearly 70B baht ($2.1B), "more than half of it gambling on results, while following the World Cup 2014 tournament in Brazil." UTCC Economic and Business Forecast Center Dir Thanavath Phonvichai said that "spending was projected to be 16% higher than for the last World Cup four years ago" (BANGKOK POST, 6/5).
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