It’s a major international event that stops entire economies for days, if not weeks, on end. The World Cup is coming to Brazil this summer, and the entire world is watching… except, perhaps, Brazil. Ronn Torossian reveals why Brazil may have a very surprising PR problem.
In the run up to this summer’s World Cup games, the Brazilian government has spent a TON of money on various stadium projects, some of which got mothballed. In the ensuing months, Brazilian citizens have reacted with anger that so much money has been taken away from education and other social needs, and been directed into these, in some cases failed, stadium projects. So, instead of dancing in the streets and celebrating the beautiful game in a nation that absolutely reveres soccer (football), protesters are marching in the streets, letting their officials know exactly how they feel about their priorities.
But, it’s not only the government that is getting heat. Teachers protested the national team, which is accustomed to being greeted as heroes. Worse, the infrastructure needed for the games is not complete. Airports are unfinished, and the hospitality and medical care industries are considered to be inadequate to handle the expected international influx of soccer-crazed fans.
This has Brazilians feeling angry, AND embarrassed. Now some pundits are literally saying the performance of the national team could well determine the political future of those currently in power.
Consider, there will be endless news teams in the country. What will Brazil want them to see? Unrest in the streets? Tents where airport hangers should be? Snarled traffic, and unfinished stadiums? Given what happened at the winter Olympics, it’s a safe bet that the media will be ready to report any such inconveniences or unrest at a moment’s notice.