The FIFA World Cup begins on June 12 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. And though soccer fans around the world are getting pumped up about the tournament, many Brazilians aren’t nearly as excited… in fact, a lot of them are really upset.
The World Cup preparation in Brazil has been highlighted by plenty of construction, outrageous costs, deadly protests and the displacement of citizens.
Just how much will it cost Brazil to host the World Cup? Reportedly upwards of $10 billion. Yep — $10 billion! It’s believed Brazil has spent over $3.5 billion on new stadiums (and fixing up old ones), plus $7 billion in infrastructure costs. With many people in Brazil struggling financially along accusations of rampant government corruption and overspending, that $10 billion price tag is just too much for many Brazilian citizens to stomach.
Source: Juliana Spinola/WENN.com
The protests — which aren’t just about the World Cup but also about the Brazilian government in general — have been going on for months and months, often resulting in violence and even death in cities across the country. During the protestors’ widespread “Day of Action” demonstration on May 16, seven people died after clashing with authorities.
According to the Washington Post, up to a quarter million people have been evicted or displaced from their homes to make room for the World Cup. And with the country preparing to host the Summer Olympics in 2016, things will likely get even get worse.
I can’t blame citizens of Brazil for being upset. Many programs for the working class people have been cut recently. Many areas of the country need massive improvements in public transportation and urban housing. Yet the government is pouring money into a soccer tournament that will be primarily enjoyed by affluent citizens and tourists — not the common people. It’s really hard to justify the government spending $10 billion on the World Cup — that’s roughly $62 million a match.