'Exceeding expectations' won't be hard

Last week was not a good week for Brazilian World Cup organizers.

It became evident that Brazil would not meet FIFA's deadline of Monday to have six World Cup stadiums ready for this summer's Confederations Cup.

Forget the fact that FIFA's deadline was actually last December, the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro and Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia aren't close to being finished.

Many of the seats at the Maracana need to be installed, and its new roof needs to be finished. Even worse, work on the stadium's six access ramps has not begun.

Around-the-clock work continues in Brasilia to install seats and get the field ready -- the grass has still not been laid out.

Given such a low barrier, it shouldn't be hard for Brazil to achieve President Dilma Rousseff's goal of "exceeding expectations" in organizing the World Cup.

Stadiums in Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza and Salvador have already delivered their stadiums to FIFA, while Recife opened its Arena Pernambuco on Sunday.

But Brazilian organizers can't win for losing. Sunday's "evento-teste" -- FIFA's logistical dress rehearsal -- at Fortaleza's Arena Castelao was marred by the death of two fans on the way to the state league match between Fortaleza and Ceara.

The fans, wearing Ceara jerseys, were shot in the head after being confronted by Fortaleza supporters at a plaza about three miles from the stadium.

In separate incidents, 180 fans were held for vandalism and disorderly conduct before the game.

There was no greater indictment about the state of affairs in Brazilian soccer than the admission of former great Ronaldo -- the public face of the Brazilian organizing committee -- that it might be a good idea that Jose Maria Marin, president of the Brazilian soccer federation, step aside.

Marin, the successor to the notorious Ricardo Teixeira, is under siege from all quarters and accused of all kind of misdeeds.

That Marin promised to have all six Confederations Cup stadiums ready by Monday is the least of his problems.

Romario, another former Brazilian great who is now a vocal figure in the Brazilian Congress, is leading the campaign against Marin, who has ties to Brazilian's former military regime.

"What they want I also want, which is to shake up Brazilian soccer,'' Ronaldo told the O Globo newspaper. "There are a lot of things that we don't want to see anymore ... lack of transparency, poor calendars, fan violence. If Marin can't do that, we need to make a change. CBF needs to move forward. Soccer needs young and dynamic people with new ideas.''

The pressure on Marin, 80, to step aside will surely increase. The last thing that Rousseff's government and FIFA want is for Marin to distract attention during the Confederations Cup, the first major event of the World Cup 2014 countdown.

On second thought, maybe such a distraction wouldn't be a bad idea.

4 comments about "'Exceeding expectations' won't be hard".
  1. Kent Pothast, April 15, 2013 at 6:39 p.m.

    I stayed in Mainz for the 2006 World Cup. Had many nationalities there plus many others encountered traveling to and attending matches. The only violence was one of the Americans at the hotel being knocked about by several Brazilian fans. USA didn't even play Brazil. Pattern?

  2. Guilleme Chatuex-Ville, April 15, 2013 at 7:56 p.m.

    I love BRASILIA for what they've done for the sick in terms of medication...making it TWO CENTS per pill as opposed to in the USA having to have a BANK representative the AIDS tx is so expensive..CHUFFIN FILTHY greed WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY DEPLETE us of everything on the OTHER HAND..what do expect from a quasi 3rd world country..spending funds THEY DO NOT have on stadia?? COME ON..GET REAL....and if you've ever been there it's EXTRAORDINARILY dangerous..I mean VERY VERY REAL of GOLD..right there, behind the FAKE HIGH RISES and NEOPHYTE riche..etc. VERY DISTURBING it's like the USA, the disaprity between RICH and POOR is even amplifed a thousand there you go..good luck they'll need it. PLUS refree corruption....FIFA UTTER INCOMPETENCE...a sick mixture...very sad...very, very has become like DON KINGS world of "BOXING" utterly set up and pathetic.

  3. Jim Williams, April 15, 2013 at 8:02 p.m.

    How sick have people gotten that fans shoot other fans over a game? It's just a game. It does nothing but put another black mark on our sport. I sit here in total disbelief that anyone could be that stupid.

  4. Doug Martin, April 16, 2013 at 4:20 p.m.

    o único problema foi alguns ingressos que não passaram por serem de portões diferentes. Houveram também casos de ingressos falsificados vendidos por cambistas.

    So some fake tickets were sold and there was some minor issues about ticketholders going to wrong enterances, but then entrance process was fine.

    2)Outro ponto negativo foi em relação a sujeira, mesmo com a presença de diversas cestas de lixo os torcedores continuam jogando no chão. Zeladores ficavam fazendo constantemente a limpeza para não acumular muito lixo nos corredores.

    Fans dropped garbage anywhere they wanted and ignored the garbage cans, this is a cultural problem in the North East, the fans think oh.. its the city worker job to clean up if we do not make a mess, there will be less jobs, a good public relations campaign can curb much of that before the Copa.

    3. Fans shot three miles from stadium, you really cannot stop that, especially as the test match was one for State level teams who have a long standing animity, is it right no, will it mean International fans will be subject to such violence, doubt it very much.

    It should be noticed a suspect was arrested quickly by local police.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications