World Cup: the bigger picture

The 2014 World Cup Brazil is less than two months away and the only thing people are talking about is soccer, soccer and more soccer. But preparing a country for one of the world’s largest sporting events involves more. There is a bigger picture than just the game of soccer.

Most people are unaware, but Brazil has been undergoing drastic changes. In order to get ready for the World Cup, the slums are being forced out of the outer cities of Brazil and into the capital city, Brasilia. Brazil does not have enough room to keep all the poor people, find a place to build soccer stadiums in 12 host cities, and cater to the mass amounts of people flooding Brazil for the World Cup.

Getting ready for the World Cup has been at the cost of the slums and poverty in Brazil. Brazil has struggled to reclaim the slums where more than 11 million Brazilians live, and the World Cup is making it even harder.

According to research, 19,200 families in and around Rio de Janeiro have been pushed out of their homes and an estimated additional 100,000 residents will continue to be moved leading up to the World Cup. The eviction of favelas has been largely due to the number of construction projects taking place. Brazil has had to build soccer stadiums, roads, highways, airports and public transportation in preparation. The government is moving people out of the slums because to them making their country look more developed and urbanized is more important than the poor people in Brazil. The construction projects have also demolished dozens of favelas because they were built in high-risk areas or the government needs the space to build and it is designated for public use.

These poor people have nowhere to go, but the government has stepped into help. The government has offered some Brazilians homes in newly constructed complexes, but these locations are far form where people work and have lived their whole lives. Along with hurting the favelas, the upcoming World Cup in Brazil has affected people making a living on the streets. FIFA imposed a ban that will affect vendors who work the street corners. Brazil is also trying to regulate street vending for the World Cup by corralling sellers in officially designated areas.

The 2014 World Cup is one of the world’s most historic sporting events. National teams prepare for four years to perform on a national stage trying to prove they are the best team in the world. Fans wait four years to travel around the world to see their favorite team play on the biggest stage in the world. The World Cup may seem as if it is only about soccer and who is the best team in the world. But to many the World Cup is more than that. It brings countries together and allows them to focus on nationalism for a straight month. It brings excitement, but also reality that people in the host country are being negatively effective.