The World Cup dilemma- International Interests before National Interests


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Brazil has been given the opportunity not only to host the World Cup later this Year but the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for 2016. This is in many ways is to promote Brazil as a dynamic, vibrant and rapidly developing Country. However the Government contributions to the World Cup have made many Brazilians angry especially when inequality and a lack of social mobility are apparent in Brazil. At a time when Brazilians are unhappy with public services and transport infrastructure, this has meant that some have taken to the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and other major Brazilian cities to protest about the amount of money being invested into the World Cup.

Brazil is now the sixth biggest economy in the world and is one of the upcoming economic powers but it still has deep rooted inequality.  The favelas (slums) are a prominent example of how sections of Brazilian society do not have access to adequate living conditions.  Yet with the government spending a large chunk of taxes on the sporting events and with the public not seeing any benefits to public service infrastructure, has meant that protest after protest has happened. Not only are there protests, there has been a spate of riots and violence showing the true extent of anger and resentment towards public money going towards the World Cup.

The police also have shown a zero-tolerance, authoritarian stance towards World Cup Protests in many ways to stop International Speculators from questioning the safety of tourists who are coming to watch the World Cup and Olympic Games. The non-reluctant violence used by the police in order to stop protests has been criticized by International Spectators is well. The problem is that with these events Governments are more interested in presenting an International Image rather than incorporating locals into Sporting Events. Wherever this is through hosting a Games that benefits the sponsors (London 2012 Olympics), introducing beggar bans onto the Streets (Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014) or using violence and discrimination by the State (World Cup and Rio de Janeiro 2016).

There is also exclusion of certain groups in Brazil from being involved with society in General. In Sao Paulo, a group called the rolezinhos which are consisted of young people from working class areas who have descended on shopping malls. In much way this can be seen as protest against inequality. These organized descents turned violent with police spraying tear gas and firing plastic bullets at these groups. These shopping malls are now turning away any darkish skinned children and young people from entering malls as these groups are seen to represent poverty, violence and crime. This leads to people not only being discriminated by their social class but by their race.

With the importance of these Sporting Events in attracting tourism and investment, it has come apparent that States, regional and local Government will take actions to stop spectators and officials from seeing poverty in these areas.  Especially with Brazil, there is a sense that Brazilians interests are being ignored to please the International Community. It seems that Sporting Events now are a corporate sponsored, elitist, globalized event rather than one that benefits the most important stakeholders- the local people.

 Amy Milliken



One thought on “The World Cup dilemma- International Interests before National Interests

  1. I Agree with this post.

    In the excitement of pleasing the international world Brazil has forgotten about its domestic affairs.

    The government should be focusing on trying to tackle the internal problems before the world cup happens.
    This will automatically change the image of Brazil and the government will not have to worry about their image on the international scale.

    Using violence will not solve the problem, it will just escalate it.
    What if the locals started to protest in masses during the world cup, then that would really have a negative effect on Brazil.

    At the same time it can be understood that the Government is looking at this from an economic perspective.
    Millions of people will attend to watch the world cup and Olympics, thus bringing is huge amount of wealth which can then be used to better the economy.

    So who are the losers and winners.
    Well it is quite tricky, it could be both, depending on how you view it.

    To take a moderate view, I would say that the winners are the Brazilian Government and the losers are the local Protestors ( Not necessarily the whole of the Brazilian people )
    Mohammad Uzair

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