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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Why The FIFA 2014 World Cup Finals Will Be Unique ………And Very Unfair

Written by on December 1, 2013 | 3 Comments »
Posted in World Cups

Brazil’s state of readiness to host the 2014 World Cup Finals continues to be a concern – in fact an escalating one. This past summer there were demonstrations during the test event that was the Confederations Cup and there are indications that demonstrators will back in greater numbers and perhaps more emboldened when the eyes of the world are focused on Brazil next June. To read more please click on the link.

3 responses to “Why The FIFA 2014 World Cup Finals Will Be Unique ………And Very Unfair”

  1. Ed Gomes says:

    I’m of the belief that demonstrations will be held to a minimum during the World Cup. Although they would be most effective during the World Cup, Brazilians are very proud of their futebol history and don’t want to put on a bad show.
    Keep in mind that what is taking place in Brazil is an atrocity. The World Cup should bring help in building out infrastructure and amenities for the public, not just new stadia. Due to the high economic boom, corruption has increased to crazy levels.

    The one concern I have, is a disaster taking place during a match. I think that security will be fine, but Brazil is famous for shoddy construction that only lasts as long as it’s needed. You can rest assure that the stadium will begin deteriorating immediately after the games.

    The one concern I have is Argentina coming anywhere near winning the World Cup, which they should. That will cause violence.

    I understand that Brazil will have more days for matches, but their travel schedule is insane. They wanted to make sure that all of Brazil got a piece of the Seleccao, which will make it very grinding.

    By the way, the “Olympic Village” plans are awesome, which makes it that more unrealistic.

  2. Astronomer says:

    I have been to Brazil a couple of times since 2009 to attend scientific conferences. Yes, I would characterize it as a chaotic country with questionable infrastructure, but I say that from a North American / West European perspective.

    Put in other words, Brazil may fall somewhat short of the infrastructure standards that we expect in the U. S., Canada, Western Europe, or Australia, but that does not mean that visiting fans will experience immense hardship in attending the games or find the whole experience to be a torture.

    Big countries, traditionally, have the resources to put on a big show of this type and they tend to do a good job overall. China is still, in many ways, a Third World country, but that did not prevent the Chinese from making the Beijing Games a logistical and organizational success. Even India (an even more basket case of a country in this context) has done quite well in staging big international tournaments (athletics, cricket, etc.).

    I believe that Brazil next year will be the same — for visiting international fans, it won’t be as comfortable as, say, France 1998 or Germany 2006, but it won’t be an unqualified disaster either.

    Now, if Messi-led Argentina threatened to win it, then, yes, …… all bets are off !

  3. Napier says:

    I’ll be going to the World Cup next year. I got through in the first lottery round to get tickets for the Rio games! It annoys me how this World Cup has been organized. Brazil would have known more than 10 years ago that they would be hosting; they had more than enough time if governance wasn’t such a shambles! Apart from the ongoing construction issues, it just seems incredibly short-sighted and stupid, given the size of the country and the inadequate transport infrastructure, that the tournament was spread out over the entire country. Some of the stadiums are clearly going to become white elephants.
    If I were organizing it, I would have made it a regional tournament, and kept the competition to Rio, Sao Paolo, Porto Alegre, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte, or maybe even one less city. Rio and Sao Paolo have two stadia each which can host World Cup matches. The smallest has a capacity of ~47,000. All the other stadia are over 55,000, and they’re already there! No need to build any new stadia! Just refurbish!
    The temperatures would also be more conducive to a football tournament as these cities are in the southern half of Brazil. I just did a quick check, and the average max temperature in Brasilia in June/July is ~25C. This is the most northerly of the cities on my list. In terms of infrastructure, these cities are the most capable of handling large volumes of tourists.
    It’s nice that the organizers want to spread it all over the country, but the simple fact is that the infrastructure is not up to the task.
    I have a Brazilian friend, living in Miami, who’s planning to skip the World Cup because of his concerns over the ability of the infrastructure to cope. My brother lives in Brazil, and he has concerns as well about the transport infrastructure. I’ve been to Brazil twice so far, and really liked it. I’m really hoping it all comes together, and they pull off a spectacular show.

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