Billions Gather For The World Cup While We Continue To Destroy Earth
Corruption, Bribery, and Civil Unrest
As soccer fans around the globe eagerly tune in to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, it is important to take a hard look at the world’s most beloved tournament and its impact on the host countries. It may initially seem that host country selection is a tremendous honor and will result in an economic boom; however, systemic corruption and bribery suggest that not all money is good money. Once again, it’s another example of how we all continue to engulf ourselves into the world of entertainment for another “headlining” event.
How is it Financed?
The country’s original plan claimed that private donors would finance the development and renovation of stadiums. Much to the dismay of Brazilians, this plan has greatly diverted. According to The Wall Street Journal’s John Lyons and Loretta Chao, taxpayers have paid $3.6 billion for the stadiums. São Paulo will be the arena for the opening game, a brand new stadium with 62,000 seats that came with a $550 million price tag. The stadium will go to the Corinthians soccer team after the Cup, but since the team was unable to provide enough private lenders, the stadium’s financing ended up coming from $200 million in tax breaks and government loans. The 2014 World Cup has accumulated a cost of $11.5 billion, which is twice the amount of the previous two World Cups in South Africa and Germany.
Reported by the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of Brazilians are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country. Additionally, 61 percent of citizens believe hosting the event has been damaging for Brazil because it takes funding away from schools, heath care, and other public services.
Manaus Stadium is another example of poor planning. The 39,000-seat stadium was constructed in the capital city in the state of Amazonas while its greatest local games scarcely attract 1,500 spectators. Since the city lacks a notable soccer team, the stadium will be rendered useless after the Cup — a significant reason as to why private lenders once again did not contribute and the blunt of the cost fell on to the citizens.
Following the historical trend, many corruption allegations have surfaced in the lead up to this year’s World Cup. One such example, according to a report by a city auditor, is that the cost to build a stadium in Brasília was $636 million, a 68 percent increase compared to the initial projected cost. Andrade Gutierrez S.A., the builder of the stadium, chose not to comment on the “grave irregularities” found in the report. These abnormalities, such as transportation being over-billed and a 12.1 percent loss rate on steel, were a source of the distended budget.
With $4 billion spent on stadiums and an insufficient amount of funds allocated to public services, the people of Brazil have taken to strikes and protest to promote their needs.
Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement), which advocates for free public transportation, gained attention on June 13, 2013 when police turned a peaceful protest into a place of terror. Officers fired rubber bullets and firing grenades at bystanders and fleeing protesters. Those who were trapped in the mayhem were subjected to inhaling pepper spray and tear gas. The movement quickly spread across a dozen state capitals. These protests occurred simultaneously with the Confederations Cup matches. BBC Sport’s Ben Smith reported that throughout the June 6, 2013 match between Uruguay and Nigeria, “the deep rumblings, loud bangs and the crackle of police weapons could be heard in the streets nearby,” leaving many with questions if the social problems Brazil is facing would hinder its ability to host the Cup a year later.
Close to the opening ceremonies, subway strikes erupted in Sao Paulo. Approximately four million people a day use the subway. The workers hoped that the strike would lead to increase in pay and better working conditions; however, the São Paulo court ruled that striking over pay was illegal.
The Homeless Demand Answers
In May 2014, the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem-Teto (Homeless Workers’ Movement, or MTST) and the Fronte de Resistência Urbana (Urban Resistance Front) — both organizations representing homeless citizens — protested 20,000 strong in São Paulo. The protesters demanded answers about how the government spent public funds on the World Cup. The protesters were able to garner international attention and disrupt traffic for more than 150 miles.
Source | lawstreetmedia