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Brazil Risks Reputation While Preparing for World Cup and Olympics

By Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

Most spectators who enjoy international events such as the World Cup and the Olympics have no idea what those countries must do to prepare for those events. Brazil, however, is getting a “crash course” in preparing for two major events at the same time – The World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

Nations fight for the privilege of hosting these events for many reasons. For countries like Brazil, it means claiming a more prominent and positive image in the minds of people and governments around the world. For the next two years, at least, all eyes will be on Brazil. The question is whether it is risking its reputation in an attempt to strengthen it.


Two construction workers helping to prepare the Arena Corinthians stadium in São Paulo died in an accident. It’s the stadium that will host the World Cup opener. The accident could not have come at a worst time. All of the top names in the sport were on their way to Brazil for the World Cup draw.

Concerns over violence

There were violent street protests during the Confederation Cup, which is a warm-up tournament for the World Cup. The protests raised the question of government spending. Brazilians are concerned that many social needs are not being addressed as the country spends billions on sporting events.

Cost overruns

While it’s true that nearly every country experiences cost overruns when preparing for international events, Brazil will have to face its own criticism as cost overruns, delays, and labor conflicts have pushed the cost of preparing 12 stadiumsfromUS$3.5 billion to nearly US$4 billion.

Environmental issues

As much as 70% of Rio’s sewage enters into the water untreated. Much of the sewage flows from hillside favelas, or shantytowns. Astonishingly, the average fecal pollution rate in the area of the future Olympic Park is 78 times the amount that is considered satisfactory by the Brazilian government and 195 times the amount that is considered safe in the United States. This raises serious health concerns where the sailing, rowing, canoeing, triathlon, and open-water swimming events are to be held.

Political pressures

There is an expectation that Brazil will pull it off, but it will be extremely difficult. Perhaps no one is more concerned than President Dilma Rousseff. She is up for re-election just after the 2014 World Cup. If she is to be president during the 2016 Olympics, she will have to complete construction and strengthen Brazil’s infrastructure. She must also avoid street protests that could place an estimated 600,000 international visitors and at least 3 million Brazilians in danger during the World Cup.

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