The 2014 World Cup kicks off this Thursday and the whole soccer world is starting to converge for the event. With all eyes on Brazil who takes the world stage for the first time in recent memory it’s difficult to ignore the social and political unrest that bubbles just below the festive surface. Ever since the announcement was made that Brazil was chosen to host the 2014 World Cup citizens have been pleading for its government to use the money going towards soccer stadiums and FIFA regulations on better hospitals, schools and public transit. In all the excitement surrounding the event it seems as though the desperate pleas from the people of Brazil have gone unheard or swept under the media rug in favor of more cheerful subjects. But whether you’re a die-hard soccer fan or couldn’t care less about the cup the reasons not to support the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are deeply important and shouldn’t be ignored. Everyone wants to watch the game but here’s why you should refrain from letting any of your hard earned money go to FIFA or Brazilian tourism, instead get together with friends, family and really good food to watch the game on TV in the safety of your own house.
Safety Tips that don't help
The Brazilian government came out with a nifty brochure full of safety tips for tourists coming to enjoy the World Cup except there’s something just a little bit off about these tips. Like the fact that they don’t actually keep you safe at all. One of the tips advises that if you’re robbed or mugged on the street don’t scream, argue or react to the person robbing you. The reason they don’t want anyone making a fuss with the criminals is that victims that try to stand up to the criminals usually end up getting killed. Its clear that the Brazilian government cares a lot more about its appearance on the world stage than the safety of...well, anybody.
The corrupt government in Brazil is a huge issue and is a blanket problem that either directly or indirectly causes all the other problems on this list so its a good idea to get it out of the way early. The blatant disregard for its citizen’s and borderline fascism is nothing particularly new for the Brazilian government but the people of Brazil are making a point to draw attention to it now more than ever due to the international attention that comes with the World Cup. The government has taken Millions of dollars away from efforts to improve infrastructure, schools and hospitals and used to build a soccer stadium and meet FIFA regulations, meanwhile citizens are struggling to maintain their everyday lives.
Its difficult to have a discussion concerning the collapse of socioeconomic South America and not bring up the violent and all encompassing reach of the infamous drug cartels. In a statement issued by Brazil’s largest drug cartel a “World Cup of Terror” is promised, this unsettling declaration would leave any country’s government taking measures to ensure public safety but Brazil is all but run by these cartels, there’s little if anything they can do without a complete political overhaul. Members of the cartels have near immunity in most of Brazil making kidnappings, robberies and hostage situations an everyday event for the country and its citizens.
Universal healthcare is an excellent thing when properly executed like it is places like Scandinavia and Canada but in a place like Brazil where the government cares little about anything that can’t turn a profit its a pretty bad situation. While the Brazilian constitution guarantees citizens the right to free healthcare, two-fifths of Brazil’s population isn’t covered at all. On top of the congested state of patients needing care there aren’t nearly enough doctors to treat all of them- Brazil even resorted to flying in doctors from other countries in 2013 to help remedy the problem but to little avail as the government couldn’t afford to keep them employed.
Hospitals that are falling apart
Even if the healthcare situation were better and there were enough medical professionals available to treat people there would still be the glaring issue of all the country’s hospitals literally falling apart at the seams. While billions are being an event that only lasts two days people are dying due to the under-equipped conditions of the hospitals as seemingly endless stories surface about loved ones who died due to catching an illness worse than the one they came with of even dying because there were no ambulances readily available for hospital transfers. When a country’s hospitals don’t have enough beds, medicine or doctors the World Cup is the least of your worries.
With a whopping 8% of all of Brazil’s murders solved it’s likely that Brazil’s police are just regular people that just happened to get ahold of a uniform. Not only are the Brazilian police infamous for not preventing crime or helping the victims they actually play an active role slowing down any progress citizen’s might hope to make in their country. Several protests have broken out and at almost each one there’s a report of a cop shooting, gassing or killing a civilian. Police killings in Brazil have pretty much become routine and there’s no way these cops are protecting or serving anyone, in fact a large percentage of police officers in Brazil are bribed by members of the drug cartels to look the other way and keep their mouths shut about crime while wrongful arrests continue to soar. In Brazil it’s not a big reach to assume that literally everyone is out to get you somehow.
Imagine that you’re a citizen in Brazil, with the urgent state of affairs and roughly 41% of your taxes going to a corrupt government that seems to be eternally stuck in a tailspin you’d be a little upset right? How about when billions of dollars go to making FIFA happy instead of the help you and your family desperately need? Feeling angry? How about start a riot angry? That’s what countless Brazilians are doing in protest of the government and FIFIA’s decision to bring the World Cup to their home. With as much political turmoil as there is Brazil its not surprising that sometimes these demonstrations become violent, reports of tear gas, fires and even deaths have be popping up after almost every protest. A huge danger to any tourists planning to visit the country for the cup as well as any innocent bystander who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. These protests and demonstrations are a vital part of invoking change but if you or anyone you know is traveling to see the cup in person please exercise extreme caution. Which brings us to our final reason not to support The 2k14 World Cup...
The enormous influx of tourists brought on by The World Cup (estimated to pass the 3 million mark) leaves many citizens’ warning people to beware of kidnappers that run rampant through the country. Tourists are an especially big target for kidnappings due to the ransoms that can be charged for them and their general lack of knowledge about the social and physical geography of the areas they’re visiting. Many of those kidnapped are killed when their ransoms go unpaid and several other crimes such as rape and robbery are committed on top of the kidnapping. The threat and possibility of being kidnapped are both very real and little if anything is done by government officials to help. The kidnapping epidemic only promises to get even worse with The World Cup.