Year In Review: Stadium Collapse, Confed Cup Protests Top South American Headlines
The SBD Global staff compiled the top sports business stories for '13 by region to be published in the final four Global editions of the year. Here are the top stories from South America.
PROTESTS OVERSHADOW CONFED CUP: Social unrest stole many of the headlines from the on-field action during June’s Confederations Cup in Brazil, which will host the 2014 World Cup. More than 1.5 million Brazilians protested during the two-week tournament over public spending and the rising cost of public transportation. Many Brazilians expressed frustration with the combined $15B spent to host both the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.
NEYMAR JOINS BARCELONA: Brazilian star Neymar left Brasileiro Serie A side Santos for Barcelona in May, with the 21-year-old signing with the La Liga power for a reported €57M. Brazil’s Pluri Consulting estimated in June that the move increased Neymar’s market value from €55M to €67.4M. Neymar, who is considered one of the most valuable football players in the world, has a wide range of sponsors including Nike, Panasonic, Mentos candy, Red Bull and Volkswagen, among others.
WORLD CUP CONSTRUCTION: One of the most widely-criticized aspects of Brazil’s preparation for the World Cup has been the progress on the construction of the 12 stadiums that will host matches. Three of the venues -- in Cuiaba, Curitiba and Sao Paulo -- were expected to miss FIFA’s Dec. 31 deadline, with a Nov. 27 accident at Sao Paulo’s Corinthians stadium that killed two people complicating the issue. In addition to the stadium concerns, many have voiced fears regarding whether Brazilian hotels and airports will be prepared in time for the event.
GOAL-LINE TECH TO DEBUT AT WORLD CUP: FIFA confirmed in February that goal-line technology will be used at the World Cup to support match officials. FIFA later announced its selection of Germany company GoalControl as the official 2014 World Cup provider following the company’s trial during the Confederations Cup.
VIOLENCE MARS ARGENTINE FOOTBALL: Violent clashes between supporters of rival football clubs throughout South America, particularly in Argentina, have remained a major issue at the highest level of the sport. According to anti-violence organization “Salvemos Al Fútbol,” at least seven people were killed in Argentina alone this year, following 12 football-related fatalities in ’12 and a total of 182 in the last 40 years.