Is Brazil Really Ready for the World Cup?

While at work in the paperless company of SignTech, I read the news articles relating to brazil now that its less than 10 weeks to the world cup and I found myself cringing ever so slightly, from raiding of slums to carjacking, protests to unfinished stadiums this June 12th world cup seems very very… very unlikely to go down as smoothly as many people in brazil or everywhere else would hope. At least, we at the paperless company hope.

Over 2000 soldiers have raided a slum in Rio de Janeiro in an attempt to make it safer for the world-cup this June. They have occupied the place of Mare Shantytown and known as Rio’s most dangerous slums ruled over by gangs and drug lords for many, many years. This occupation is expected to last till the end of the world cup.

The FIFA head, has told us frankly, “If you want me to summarise … we re not ready”. Well that isn’t very comforting for many people who’ve already bought plane tickets for what we expect to be a momentous occasion. Two stadiums; the Itaquerão in São Paulo and the Estadio Beira Rio in Porto Alegre, remain unfinished. It is said that due to three construction deaths at the Itaquerão construction has been delayed. This is quite unfortunate as the stadium is supposed to host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June 12.

I suppose that as all eyes are veering to Brazil, this is the perfect opportunity for protesters and organizations to raise awareness about serious issues. This piece, extracted from the wall street journal shows us that not everything is as fine and dandy in Brazil as music videos will lead us to believe.

“A widely distributed photo of a topless journalist with the words "I don't deserve to be raped" painted on her body in Portuguese has polarized the country and underscored the contradiction between Brazil's hyper-sexualized image and its lesser-known conservative underpinnings. The journalist, 28-year-old Nana Queiroz, took the picture as part of a campaign to raise awareness over violence against women, which began after a government research agency said recently that 65% of respondents to a national survey agreed that women showing too much of their bodies deserve to be attacked.

On Friday, the Institute for Applied Economic Research said it was mistaken and that the true number was actually 26%.

Still, the picture, taken in front of the Congress building in the capital Brasília, has caused a sensation. The campaign's Facebook page gained over 60,000 followers and Ms. Queiroz has become a national television sensation.”

Prostitution is in fact legal in Brazil but now the government seems to be having trouble on clamping down the child-prostitution operations on the streets in time for the world-cup.

“The government has recently started distributing thousands of kits containing information on how to report child abuse. The country has also started a campaign titled “happy being a prostitute” that is believed to encourage prostitutes to use condoms.

Between the upcoming World Cup in Brazil and sex tourism, President Dilma Rousseff’s government is now highly concerned about the latter. Both soccer and government officials are trying hard to crack down on the child sex trade before the event kicks off in June. The authorities are attempting to clean up its image as one of the sex tourism capital of the world.”[from]

In light of these events, I’m not very sure that Brazil will be ready for the world cup this june. I can only hope that for the 2016 summer Olympics (really, how did they win both bids?) that the case will be completely different. And who knows, just because I and so many other people think it, doesn’t mean that the country won’t be ready for the World Cup. Here’s hoping that I’m wrong.

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