Last week, Jerome Valcke finally said what we know to be true regarding
’s World Cup preparations – “they need a kick in the ass”. Nonplussed, the Minister of Sport replied that the Brazilian government would no longer deal with Mr. Valcke as an interlocutor. Irritated, Valcke called the Brazilian reaction “puerile” adding that Brazil appeared to be more interested in winning the world cup than hosting it. Sadly for the Brazilians, there doesn’t seem to be much chance of that either. Brazil
At the same time, the CBF gathered together the whimpering dogs of the 26 state football federations at the feet of Ricardo Teixeira. Tricky Ricky left the meeting with his power intact. Faced with allegations of international money laundering, receiving bribes, and other malfeasances, Mr. Jowls has an amazing ability to hold on to the reigns of Brazilian football. Let’s not forget that this is the first time that the president of a national football federation is also the president of the World Cup organizing committee. How Teixeira has kept afloat is beyond me.
During Lula’s good-ol-boy government, Teixeira had some solid political coverage. Dilma has changed things somewhat, refusing to meet with him. The president of FIFA has worked to distance himself from this dough-faced dandy leaving a politically isolated figure that somehow convinced the presidents of
’s federations to prop him up through 2014. As I mentioned a post or two ago, I think that FIFA was waiting to see what happened in this meeting to determine what they were going to do with the documents from the ISL money-laundering case. Does FIFA delay releasing the ISL documents in order to preserve the World Cup in Brazil as they look for plan B? Brazil
No one has ultimate responsibility for anything related to the 2014 World Cup but that does not mean there aren’t things that need to be done. FIFA cannot be wholly blamed for the stadium cost overruns or transportation projects or the choice of 12 cities across a continent with shoddy airports and no ground transportation. They have a series of demands that they “need” met in order to extract the maximum amount of money in the shortest time frame. FIFA is a pimp for global capital interests, using the World Cup as the emotionally charged smack that blinds us to the accumulation of power and profit. The Brazilian government (at all levels) has used the World Cup preparations as a nominal way to “improve” cities but has repeatedly stepped on the ball in all the ways that I have documented over the last few years.
could not, today, handle the World Cup. Other than the completion of the destructive destruction of the Maracanã will that much really change? Rio de Janeiro
With all of this infantile bickering, instead of focusing on the 12 White Elephants, forced removals, idiotic transportation projects, unnecessary hotels, the lack of inter-city transport, the privatization of airports, security, public space, and the massive transfer of public wealth, the media can pay attention to whether or not beer should be allowed in the stadiums or split hairs about whether or not 20,000 indigenous people will be able to watch South Korea x. Slovakia in Manaus. The issues really have nothing to do with
’s ability to build stadia or media centers or airports, but what kind of society is being constructed, how, and for whom. Brazil
From a logistical perspective, FIFA is rightly chafed about the delays in everything. This process began four and a half years ago and the legal foundation is still being poured. The Brazilian government is overreacting to FIFA, launching bombast when a more sober consideration of real issues would help. There are major and massive issues to be resolved. Without the legal framework in place, there is nothing that FIFA can do. Without a working relationship between FIFA, the Local Organizing Committee, and the three levels of Brazilian government, this month long party won’t happen. The government isn’t talking to their partners and the communication between FIFA and the CBF/LOC is fractious. I am sure that Valcke and Blatter have thought on more than one occasion: USA 2014.