Scores

26 February, 2011

Mismanagement Redux

Tell me if this sounds familiar? Misappropriation of funds, falling behind on several stadium improvements, a stadium that have even yet to be constructed, and a possible white elephant of a stadium...

If it sounds like South Africa in 2008, two years before their 2010WC appearance, then you are partly right. These were comments by an auditor regarding Brazil and it's 2014 WC preparations. Not good.

Now, granted, they still have ~2-3 yrs depending on the venue, to be ready, but I've known about their infrastructure inadequacies for years. Several years ago, (2006 WC if you remember) one of their two major airlines went bankrupt. Their only other state airline never really filled the void by improving runs or number of planes in the air. It's Brazil... why would they need to increase their debt if they really have little to no competition?

Sure, there are other airlines that fly there, American Airlines for one, but they really only cover 3-4 major airports and not Brazil to Brazil flights so getting between games may be an issue. That also doesn't take into account that most of the Brazilian airports are of the quality of Miami International circa 8 years ago. For those of you not lucky enough to fly through that cesspool of a terminal then, it's cramped, constantly "under construction" and frequently home to many a layover canceled or delayed flight. Miami improved... finally. Brazil, still has not.

You may wonder why I mention this. I used to ship cargo exports out of O'hare (ORD) for several companies and frequently dealt with freight moving all over the world, out of the US. Whenever a shipment to Brazil came across my desk, I cringed. They are nothing but trouble. American Airlines still really doesn't run more than 2-3 flights a week to Brazil and my issues also added in the complexity of all hazardous materials getting bumped from any flight to Brazil. One would hope that the number of flights will be increased, but it doesn't address the underlying problem: That Brazil still isn't ready.

There will be talk that it should be moved soon. It won't be. Too much history, and if you paid attention to ol' Seppo talking from his backside in the Sudan last week, you'd catch that FIFA has money, and you don't. Add to that fact, FIFA still made a hefty profit from South Africa when everyone else did not. It's just not looking promising at this point for visitors.

Will I still be trying to go? Sure. Will there be travel problem for most everyone? Most definitely. I just hope this doesn't detract from an otherwise beautiful country and the players (not FIFA), but I'm already having doubts. Just wondering how many of these stadiums won't quite be what we were told. How bout you?

Photo: NBC

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