78 Days

Brazil – A beautiful country. Home to the beautiful game, not just this year, but all the time. But the beauty of the festival this year could be lost, or at least hidden, from because of outside forces causing problems in Brazil.  Lots of things go into making a trip successful, or just having an enjoyable city to live in.  Think about it?  You want roads that are easy to travel, both easy to access and smooth to drive on.  You want buildings that you feel comfortable walking into.   You want to be able to maneuver through streets or buildings easily to get to work or to lunch, not having to wiggle and squirm between hundreds of people to get to each place.  Brazil seems to be struggling to fulfill every one of these categories right now.

Photo taken in November, before the crane collapse

Maybe you have heard the mess that describes the stadium situation in Brazil.  We are three months away from the day Brazil kicks off against Croatia and there is exactly three stadiums that are ready for play right now.  The rush is on to get the other 9 stadiums up and operative in the next three months.  But you hope it is done carefully and securely, so you can feel safe walking in there.  The stadium in Sau Paulo, the one set to host the first game of the tournament, suffered a major setback when a crane fell and damaged the stadium, also killing three workers back in November.

Other reports from finished stadiums have complaints, as well.  People complained about leaky bathrooms or long concession lines because of lack of concession stands.  One other claimed he bought seats that weren’t installed in the stadium.

The other problem is the workers; many of whom have gone on strike at some point in this process, and could go on strike again at any minute.  If that is the case, the project comes to an immediate halt and could possibly not resume again in time to finish the stadium in jeopardy.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has blasted Brazil, more than once, for not being prepared for the upcoming World Cup.  “For having so much time to prepare (7 years), no country has been so far behind in its preparations since I have been with FIFA,” Blatter said to a Swiss newspaper, 24 Heures.

All the stadiums are coming together, and I think they will finish on time, but there will be some long days here in the next few months. And all the stadiums are coming in over budget, which doesn’t please many people in Brazil.  The estimated cost for all 12 stadiums in 2010 was around 2.2 billion dollars.  Now the total is tallying more than $3.8 billion.  For a country in turmoil, those numbers are not fun to look at.

 

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