Questions raised over what Brazil really gets out of 2014 World Cup
Should money be spent on football stadiums or health and education?
FIFA receives tax exemptions from Brazil
Romario says: "FIFA comes to our country and sets up a state within a state"
After some of the world’s biggest corporations such as Apple and Google have come under pressure over aggressive tax avoidance strategies, now its FIFA’s turn to defend its lucrative financial arrangements with 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil.
The relationship of football’s world governing body with Brazil is under scrutiny following the protests that have gripped the country as the South American country stages June’s Confederation Cup – a test run for the main event next year.
Initially disgruntlement of the protesters centered on a 20 centavos (10 cents) rise in bus and train fares. But a violent response from the police, prompted Brazilians of all ages took to the streets.
Suddenly the issue was about corruption, poor public services, increasing inflation, lack of security and whether the money being spent on the World Cup might be better invested elsewhere.
With a subtext of the rich lining their pockets, while the poor pay more to use crumbling public services, the Brazilian government was left scrambling to deal with what some have dubbed the “Tropical Spring.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, for one, was askance at the protests.
“I can understand that people are not happy, but they should not use football to make their demands heard,” Blatter told Brazil’s Globo TV.
While FIFA argues that Brazil, as well as Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022, will gain benefits from infrastructure development and tourism as well as the kudos of staging a global sporting event, the World Cup is key for the world governing body – the event is its major source of revenue.
“The exact number I do not know but around $4 billion,” said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke earlier in June, referring to what the 2014 World Cup will