Monday, May 3, 2010

Brazil 2014 Gets Kick in the Pants

Getting ahead of ourselves again. But this time only four years out.

Jerome Valcke, Fifa general secretary and Sepp Blatter's strong right arm, gave Brazil 2014 organizers a spanking today ... for what apparently is a lot of nothing going on in preparation for the big event four years hence.

To wit:

Valcke says Brazil has done little or nothing on the stadium front.
"It's incredible how late Brazil is, and I'm talking about all the stadiums," he told Reuters. "A lot of deadlines have passed and nothing has happened. Brazil is not on the right path."

He seemed to make a sort of poke at Latin "manana" culture when he wondered when Brazil would feel a sense of urgency.
"This year, there's a presidential election so almost nothing will happen. Next year, Carnival comes along. So everything's only going to start after Carnival?"

The suggestion seems to be that Brazil has never quite taken seriously the logistical/practical side of the 2014 bid. Brazil essentially was handed the 2014 World Cup because back in 2007, when it was awarded, Fifa was using its lame "rotation" system, and it was South America's turn.

The problem with that was ... that no other South American nation put on a serious bit, and by 2003 the nation's other nine federations backed Brazil's bid. And that was that.

Brazil talked a lot about the nation's contributions to the event, the five championships and all the great players. "Come to our place and party."

But not much was said how or what would be done on the building front, and now Fifa has gone over to have a look ... and it doesn't look like much.

Consider this Fifa's way of trying to jolt Brazil into some life. Brazil seems to have gotten a little smug of late, about its golden future, blah blah blah. But, really, what has Brazil done in the past 60 years on the international sports front? A Pan-Am Games or two, but no Olympics, no World Cups ...

Time to get moving, is what Jerome Valcke is telling Brazil.
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