Todays the day, the culmination of years of preparation by people all round the world and especially the Brazilian hosts. The tournament kicks off with Brazil vs Croatia in Sao Paulo.
There’s been some unrest lately and threats of disruption due to some relevant concerns about whether the money assigned for the tournament could have been better spent for the benefit of the populace. I suspect that’s more than likely and I can only hope that the benefits of welcoming half a million visitors brings much to the local economy as the FIFA/Government money has not provided the infrastructure it perhaps should. These type of changes (getting figurehead organisations to do the right thing and not wallow in the money and power) take a long time if they can be achieved at all. Brazil are so much further along the road, from the military junta that used to run the country, but are still working towards the best it can be for it’s people…but then aren’t we all, whatever country we live in.
Digression – gets on soapbox
FIFA is the comedy villain in all of this, led by the king of comedy Step Ladder (I really struggle with this guy lecturing on morals when he’s currently seeking his 5th election term reneging on his promise to quit after 4 and with the number of bribery scandals that swirl around FIFA). They demand ridiculous perks and rights from the host country, far in excess of what their role should be in the game. They are administrators, there to further the game in all it’s forms, not print money and line their own pockets. Unfortunately another example of power exploitation. It does puzzle me though as surely this power is perceived not literal…what would they do if a handful of the football powerhouse countries formed a new association run more for the benefit of the game – a topic for another day perhaps.
Steps down off soapbox
So I’m pulling for the hosts in this one. As, with all the press about how money spent has not benefitted the people of Brazil, it would at least be good if their team did well.