By Carmen Glover
As soccer lovers wait impatiently for the World Cup tournament to begin in Brazil in June, reports continue to surface about the turmoil that has engulfed the host country due to deaths at construction sites, ongoing strikes by workers and outspoken comments by enduring Brazilian soccer legend and global icon: Pele, who has brought his country the World Cup championship three times and is now an adviser to the World Cup organizers
According to published reports, Pele has not been shy in voicing his outrage and disgust with his country’s poor handling of the preparations or accusing his countrymen of stealing the money allocated for the construction projects, resulting in the delays. Many of the stadiums that are slated to host games are still unfinished. Brazil, which is regarded as the country that prides itself as the epitome of playing with finesse and charm is viewed as a mecca of soccer.
Brazilians have been staging almost daily protests and telling soccer fans to stay home and refrain from going to Brazil to support the World Cup. Reports coming out of Brazil state that the residents are angry that money that should be spent on basic infrastructure and social needs are being used instead to build grand stadiums for the World Cup, while the citizens suffer. This has caused potential tourists and soccer fans to think twice about going to Brazil for the World Cup as they ponder their safety.
It is impossible for soccer fans to ignore the plight of the Brazilians or dismiss their struggles. After all, every citizen has a right to expect a good quality of life and should expect governmental officials to allocate the nation’s funds appropriately.
BBC Radio reported earlier this week that workers labeled Pele “a traitor” because he discouraged them from going on strike during the period when the country is preparing to host the World Cup. But long before the workers went on strike soccer lovers expressed concern about Brazil’s slow pace with constructing the sites for the World Cup matches, leading FIFA president Sepp Blatter to share his own concerns.
The turmoil that is roiling Brazil is the last thing that FIFA president Sepp Blatter needs as the days towards the tournament celebrating the beautiful game grow near. At the beginning of the year, Blatter did not mince words in assessing Brazil’s snail-like pace with preparations to host the World Cup.
“It’s the country which is the furthest behind since I’ve been at FIFA,” he said, while also explaining that Brazil is the only country that had a seven-year period of time to prepare. However, the slow pace of preparation almost pales in significance to the concerns of the Brazilian residents who are exercising their right to protest. Their show of civil actions raise an important question: How would you feel if your basic needs were been ignored at the expense of a game that doesn’t benefit you?
From all indications, the unrest and controversy that have engulfed Brazil’s preparations to host the World Cup have cast a pall over the games. This could ultimately dim the enthusiasm of soccer lovers, causing them to think twice about making the trek to Brazil, the heart of soccer, and opt instead to watch the games from the safety of their living rooms or sports bars. It would be hard to blame them, because safety comes first. –OnPointPress.net.