Brazil is hosting the World Cup, which is the biggest single sporting tournament in the world, and the day before the opening game, things are a mess. From traffic jams to a roof missing from a stadium, the country is not prepared. When Brazil won the bid to host the 2014 World Cup many anticipated the big event, but today more than half polled wish that the World Cup wasn't in Brazil, they are far from ready and still too unorganized to host this event, suggests NBC News on June 11.
When the subway workers went on strike, a 214 mile traffic jam choked the country as all the preparations were underway for the World Cup. Today the subways are running but a strike is looming for opening day, which is tomorrow, Thursday June 12. If the transit workers don't come to an agreement with management by Wednesday, the strike is back on for Thursday.
Just how worried are the teams and the players about the possibility of another traffic jam bringing Sao Paulo to a grinding halt? Apparently very worried, as Marc Wilmots, the Belgium team manager, may cancel the warm-up match between Belgium and the USMNT on Thursday set to go off behind closed doors in Sao Paulo. He does not want to sit in hours and hours of traffic if the strike is on. Even without a strike the traffic is horrific.
People are questioning the World Cup Committee's decision allowing Brazil to host this event. Out of the 12 stadiums erected for the event, five are not finished and workers are scrambling to try and get them done. One is without a roof and will probably have to stay that way.
Just recently clearance was received from the fire department for the temporary seating to hold 20,000 fans, but worries grow as the seats have never been tested during a full game. The country is not anywhere near ready or prepared to host this event. The projects, such as the stadiums, were due to be finished last December and they are still under construction.
The people in Brazil are not happy with the way things have unfolded. Evidence of this is clear when a recent poll showed that six out of ten Brazilians believe that the World Cup is bad for Brazil. The death toll for workers while building the stadiums is at three and another worker died Monday after an accident on the monorail project in Sao Paulo, which was one of the highlights for the World Cup games, but it is not done in time for the games.
As of today, eight men have lost their lives working on the dozen grounds getting prepared for the World Cup including the three working on the stadiums and the worker on the monorail. Much of what was promised from the organizers has fallen by the wayside. From roads to the rail systems, things aren't like they were promised. Only five of the 35 planned urban mobility rail schemes are complete.
The promised metro lines are now replaced by taxis and buses. Much of what is in place for the fans and players coming to Brazil is not complete. The people of the country are furious with the amount of money spent on this event as poverty is plentiful in the country.
That 214 mile traffic jam occurred in Sao Paula last month, which is the city that will be used for many of the World Cup events. This 214 mile traffic jam was the biggest the country has ever seen. Traffic went down to a "stand-still" reports NBC Sports News today. The second biggest traffic jam was in November of 2013 when 192 miles were at a stand still on the highways as people tried to travel for a national holiday.
What can a player or fan expect arriving in Brazil for the World Cup 2014? NBC puts it in a nutshell for you:
"Brazil will welcome the players and fans to unfinished airports, drive them past uncompleted transport systems, through streets that have been clogged with rioters protesting the cost of the tournament and into stadiums that have cost lives to build and haven’t all been finished."
The traffic is expected to be horrific and if the railway workers strike, which is a possibility, the 214 mile traffic jam from last month will probably look like a picnic in the park in comparison. A railway strike resulting in all those cars taking to the roads along with the added traffic from the World Cup could build a traffic jam of epic proportions. Even without a strike the traffic coming due to the World Cup morphed into the already congested roadways is a recipe for a nightmare.