High-Scoring World Cup Matches Quieting Negativity Around Host Nation Brazil
Visions of a FIFA World Cup "punctuated by protests and violence in Brazil are fading as the highest-scoring tournament in a half century wins over fans in the opening four days of matches," according to Schmidt & Biller of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The 41-goal spectacle "took the edge off of public outrage over white elephant stadiums burdening public coffers and failed urban infrastructure projects, concerns that fueled Brazil’s biggest demonstrations in two decades last June." Columbia Univ. School of Int'l & Public Affairs professor Marcos Troyjo said, "Four days before the World Cup, there was an enormous concern over protests in the streets, but the atmosphere is changing." He added, "The matches are good, the stadiums look great on TV, and the level of discontent voiced on the streets at least in the past two days has been toned down. The World Cup is landing." Meanwhile, Schmidt & Biller noted while work on Brazil's airports "remained unfinished as the World Cup started, that hasn't yet caused problems for fans crisscrossing the country to attend games in 12 cities" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/16). In Toronto, Kurtis Larson writes this World Cup looks "poised to be one of the best of the modern era." This was a World Cup that was supposed to be "ruined by heat and humidity, slowed to a crawl in a tropical climate and marred by violence, the likes of which this tournament has never seen." Instead, the "opposite has been true." The games have been played "at an unparalleled pace inside boisterous venues and there's been much goal production." The stadiums "are brilliant, the crowds big and the beaches make the backdrop of this event all the more special" (TORONTO SUN, 6/17).
AIN'T IT FUNNY: Jennifer Lopez last night appeared on NBC's “The Tonight Show,” where she discussed performaning at the World Cup Opening Ceremony. Lopez said, “It was surreal. We had to get underneath this big globe. They put us underneath a big flag and we were crouched over so no one would see us. It’s this huge stadium, with 100,000 (people). It’s huge, big. Too big” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 6/17).