A headline from a media outlet the other day. “Brazil ‘will be ready’ for 2014 World Cup – Blatter”
With just over a year to go until the global footballing showpiece, Brazil is dealing with the “will they be ready for the World Cup?” questions.
Brazil, like 2010 World Cup host South Africa, has faced constant questions over its preparations for the tournament and Blatter said delays and other minor incidents were part and parcel of staging a major sports event. “With the power of Brazil, and I don’t only speak of the economic power but also with the willpower, Brazil will be ready and will deliver a wonderful World Cup,” said Blatter, according to Reuters. “When there is one year or less to go before the World Cup, there is always the question of will they be ready. But they will be ready because it is the World Cup and nobody can afford not to be ready. There is no problem and I can say, definitely, don’t be afraid. It’s all a question of trust and confidence and trust and confidence from the FIFA side is totally there.” Source: Soccerex website
In the build up to the 2010 edition in South Africa the typical foreign (and some local) media would have a sample of the following headlines right up until the tournament kicked off:
– 5 reasons why South Africa is not ready for World Cup 2010
– Is South Africa ready for World Cup?
– South Africa is not ready to host World Cup!
The list of such negative headlines was endless and included this gem from that great bastion of journalism, the British tabloid The Sun. The “Exclusive!” story was released in February 2010 with much fanfare, but turned out to be completely false.
Brazil and the world – fear ye not. There is too much money riding on this tournament for it to fail. FIFA will make sure that everything is ready on time and the event will proceed as scheduled. Granted, there may be some minor hiccups but the tournament will be a success.
The more important and pressing questions should be focused on what the long term legacy will be for the Brazilian population and what will happen to all these new stadiums that are being purpose built for the World Cup. Just ask South Africa that is sitting with the majority of its stadiums with no anchor sports franchise, and continuing investigations around the bribery and corruption related to the construction of those stadiums.
So it’s not – will they be ready? The question is – what happens after the tournament ends?