It’s not even on for a year like!!

2 06 2013

You can tell the world cup is nearly a year away, articles like the one below have started appearing in the media. (This one come from today’s Telegraph).

Disputes and delays cast doubt on Brazil’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup

Fresh, pristine turf, carefully grown at a country farm in Brazil, awaits England on the pitch at Sunday’s friendly against Brazil.

Cultivated, trimmed and then replanted in rolls at the redeveloped Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the playing field brought new life to the historic ground ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Yet the events of earlier this week – including a surprise court injunction that threatened Sunday’s fixture, if only for a few hours – have exposed the disarray surrounding Brazil’s preparations to host the tournament.

Blamed on an administrative failure to deliver the necessary safety reports, the judge’s temporary suspension shone a light on the unwieldy Brazilian bureaucracy that poses a major challenge to organisers.

“At the end of the day, the game will happen because there’s always a way for everything in Brazil. But it’s a shame that this happened because of the incompetence and corruption of our directors and politicians,” José Inacio Werneck, a respected Brazilian columnist, said.

And the £286 million Maracanã is just one example of the problems that can ensue. When Sao Paulo’s stadium delayed the installation of 20,000 temporary seats because of loan problems with Brazil’s development bank BNDES, Fifa secretary general Jérôme Valcke indicated World Cup matches could be moved up until tickets went on sale on August 20.

“We cannot have a stadium ready only in May, June,” Valcke told Brazilian newspaper Jornal Nacional. “If I say March is okay, what about the other cities? And who can promise that March will not turn into April or May?”

Six of the 12 World Cup stadiums – including the Maracanã – will have a dry run in a fortnight at the Confederations Cup before ironing out any problems in the year before the 2014 competition.

“Out of the six Confederations Cup stadiums, only two were delivered within the initially agreed timings so we need to do better,” a Fifa Local Organising Committee (LOC) source said.

The LOC said it expected the biggest area of concern to be transport, which will remain largely untested because the majority of fans at the Confederations Cup will be Brazilian residents.

Asked about the biggest worry, LOC spokesman Saint-Clair Milesi said: “Airport arrivals, transportation and access for the fans. For the World Cup, we are expecting a much bigger influx of international visitors. A lot of it will be based on which team will be playing in which city.

“American, Mexican and English fans are traditionally big supporters, who travel to support their team, but we have to wait until we know who has qualified.”

There have been disputes and delays to the new light rail vehicle system in another host city, Cuiaba, while in the north-eastern settlement of Natal, mobility projects had to be abandoned and redesigned because of a shortage of time.

Accommodation is also a concern with a shortage of hotels in Rio de Janeiro and Recife, according to the Brazilian Association of Hotel Industries (ABIH).

This week, workers at Rio’s Gloria Hotel, which is due to open before the World Cup, told Jornal do Brasil that the renovations were falling well behind.

Meanwhile in Salvador, another host city, matters at the Arena Fonte Nova were even more pressing. Just over three weeks before it was due to host its first Confederations Cup game, part of the roof collapsed.

Fifa faced further embarrassment in Fortaleza on the first day of ticket collections for the Confederations Cup when printing problems prevented some fans from receiving their tickets.

Instead, they were given a handwritten note of assurance signed by Craig Dalziel, from Fifa’s ticketing company MATCH.

Footballer-turned-politician Romario criticised the failings and said Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff should be “ashamed” after publicly saying Brazil would organise the best World Cup of all time.

“It is clear that the host cities of the FIFA Confederations Cup are not ready,” he said. “It fills us with shame. Worse, it exposes internationally our fragility at organising very important football events.”

With such teething problems, the December 23 deadline for the delivery of World Cup stadiums and infrastructure is likely to be strictly enforced to enable a proper testing period.

“We are very much focused on the Confederations Cup but as of the last report, everything was on schedule and everything looks to be on schedule,” Mr Milesi added.

A nation holds its breath.

The keen eyed media watchers amongst will realise that this story isn’t actually new, it’s been a media staple for the last couple of years.

– Last September the BBC asked “Is Brazil ready to host the 2014 World Cup?”

– In March 2012 The Observer told us that “Brazil’s World Cup planning hits problems – on and off the pitch.”

– In June 2011 The Guardian told us that “Jérôme Valcke attacks Brazil’s ‘slow’ preparations for 2014 World Cup.”

It’s all “Preparations for the 2014 World Cup are in disarray and the national team is coming under fire for not performing” this and “Will Brazil’s airport infrastructure be able to cope?” that. There must be a rule that states every article has to be a countdown to oblivion “……………. It is ONLY TWO YEARS until Brazil hosts the 2014 Fifa World Cup. But is the country ready?” ……………….. With JUST ONE YEAR to go until the start of the FIFA World Cup in 2014“.

Will Brazil be ready? Will they? WILL THEY? It’s just too stressful!!!

Why are they always so worried that sporting events “won’t deliver” –  e.g.”London 2012: A year to go and all is well?” – Why are the media harassing us like this? When did a hole in a roof become a major problem?;

“One section of the stadium roof, which is made from a special canvas membrane, collapsed under the weight of accumulated rain water. The local management organisation, FNP(Fonte Nova Participacoes), who are responsible for the arena claimed ‘human error’ during routine checks just a day earlier were to blame for the tear in the roof material. But in this city in the tropics where it’s heaviest precipitation occurs during the months when the tournament takes place, this structural failure represented a PR disaster on the eve of the Confederations Cup for which the Arena Fonte Nova is scheduled to host three matches from June 20th, including the blue riband game of the group stage between Brazil and Italy on June 22nd.”

Things like holes in roofs used to be known as teething troubles now they’re called “PR disasters”. The media’s forensic attention of the sometimes misses the correct view. Stadia not being ready is not the real problem, the overblown nature of contemporary sporting events is the real problem;

“It’s a no-brainer that a country like Brazil deserves the World Cup, but we are seeing an attempt to host an event to showcase a country that is not real,” said Juca Kfouri, a prominent journalist. “There is too much emphasis on stadiums and too little focus on the legacy for the cities involved. I am against a World Cup that builds huge arenas where there is barely professional football.”

Which is something the BBC article tells us;

“Some of the stadiums may have limited long-term financial viability – especially true of those in Cuiaba and Manaus, with Brasilia and Natal also dubious, according to Brazilian financial newspaper BrazilEconomico. Now it appears much of thee money used on stadium work is coming from the public purse – as are the infrastructure improvements in 12 cities.”

Why are people so anxious? If people are going to Brazil to watch the world cup they will love it anyway because it’s Brazil and there will be plenty to do and see. If people aren’t going they will see a shiny version of a football tournament with lots of clean seats, smiling faces and attractive women in revealing clothing. The only way we’ll find out about problems is if the media tell us that about them to provide content for the 24 hr news media “……….and this only proves what they said 5 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!”. I can imagine Alan Green moaning about the “scandalous standard of polystyrene cups” as I type.

Why are the media worried about the stadia? There’s still a year to go and you’re bound to have a few teething problems with massive buildings like stadia. Besides as long as it looks good for a month who’ll know that they nearly didn’t finish 18 months in advance.

Before football was the most important thing ever things were a bit more relaxed. They used to get on with things without multi-national fuss. For example temporary sections in stadia have been built for major sporting events, Sydney’s Olympic Stadium and Charleroi being two of the better known examples.

Charleroi during Euro 2000

charleroi 4

Charleroi after Euro 2000

charleroi 5

Things were definitely more relaxed in the past. In the 1962 world cup they hadn’t even finished the main stadium fully. (See from 3 minutes 45 to 4 minutes 45 in this video of the official 1962 world cup film)

Why can’t things be as relaxed now?

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