In the end, Brazil was the obvious choice for FIFA to host the 2014 World Cup, but that's mostly because it was the only choice, writes the Independent's Glenn Moore. While there's definitely an element of romance in the beautiful game's most important tournament coming to the land where it's played most beautifully, Moore says Brazil's infrastructure problems are potentially worse than those that are facing South Africa ahead of hosting the 2010 finals.
The rebuilding of the country's many dilapidated stadiums is one thing, but transportation and crime have to the country's biggest concerns. These, Moore notes, are also problems plaguing South Africa, but the transportation problem in particular could be many times worse in Brazil because of the country's size. Brazil is practically the same size as Europe; even the distance between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, as close together as any two cities in the country, is six hours driving.
Crime is the other major problem, and it's different in Brazil than South Africa in that in cities like Rio, Salvador and Sao Paulo, poor and affluent neighborhoods are right on top of each other. The gun trade is rampant in these major cities, and gang wars are frequent. Last year, the country's justice ministry admitted there are 150 murders per day in Brazil, as compared to less than three in England. Meanwhile, a good portion of the crime directed at tourists occurs on public transportation.