Time to another round up on how Brazil is preparing to World Cup 2014.
On January 28th 2013, Brazil will be 500 days away from the kick off of the World Cup; Brazil was declared hosts by FIFA in October 2007, more than five years ago.
There was an interview today, where Minister of Sports of Brazil, Aldo Rebelo, spoke to journalists from international sites and newspapers; the topics of the interview, freely chosen by the journalists, can be considered the main issues of the World Cup today.
First off, let’s talk about the Minister.
He was appointed to the office because he is a member of Communist Party. To have the Communist Party supporting the Government, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff agreed with appointing to Ministry of Sports a member of the Party, whoever he or she was. The former Minister was Orlando Silva, who was charged with several cases of corruption and bribery and was forced to quit. Aldo Rebelo was appointed by the Party, because the World Cup involves a lot of money, and the Party wanted some of it.
Let’s see what the Minister was asked about, and what he answered (read what Bleach Report wrote about the interview):
- “Two stadiums are already finished”. The two stadiums are Castelao and Mineirao, delivered in December 2012. These stadiums and another four will be used during the Confederations Cup, which will open in June 2013. To the Minister, having 2 out of 6 stadiums delivered six months before kick off is an achievement (London was fully prepared for the Olympics 2012 one year before the event). Maracanã, which will also host Confederations Cup matches, will be delivered in May 2013, only 20 days before the first match).
- Transport: “London and Beijing also had troubles with their airports”. Does he want to compare the troubles of London and Beijing with the troubles of Rio, Sao Paulo and the other cities? That’s a joke. Galeão, the main airport in Rio, faced a blackout in December (no light, no air conditioner, no take offs), while Cumbica, the largest airport in Brazil, was only recently chartered to private administration (after the Government admitted to not having either funds of ability to properly run large airports).
- Safety: “In all of this, we seek to work with federal and state security agencies, so all people—not just tourists—can be safe”. According to this study, more than 50,000 people are victims of homicide in Brazil. More than any other war in the World (including Iraq, Afeghanistan, whatever).
- Accommodation. “Federal police and revenue services will be obligated to reduce hotel costs…The government are working with the private sector, to ensure no extortion of this type happens again.” He said “happens again” because, very recently, during the Eco+20, hotels prices raised so much that the Government had to intervene. The Police and the IRS have nothing to do with it. Prices in Brazil are free; hotels raise the prices because there is a shortage of beds, and guests must pay a higher price.
- Expectations. Rebelo is confident Brazil will deliver a World Cup beyond peoples’ expectation. One million volunteers will be enlisted to help make it happen, and he expects Brazil to “open its arms to the world” and deliver a “spiritual” welcome to all those who make the journey. Volunteers will make it happen? OK.
Final comment: the interview had to be translated, because Mr. Rebelo can’t speak any language other than Portuguese (he proposed a law which prohibits foreign words in Brazil).