2014 Soccer World Cup Controversy
By Meghan Jacinto
As the school year comes to an end, students are drawn to the excitement of summer. One particular event happening this year is the Soccer World Cup, which is taking place in Brazil. Although many are excited for their teams to come out on top, no one seems to notice that it has affected Brazil’s economy and image as well. Brazil is spending $11 billion on the World Cup alone, and $4 billion on 12 new stadiums. Famous Brazilian soccer athlete, Pelé even stated that ”some of this money could have been invested in schools, in hospitals . . . Brazil needs it. That’s clear. On that point, I agree. But I lament what protesters are doing, which is breaking and burning everything. It’s money that we will have to spend again.” Even bus drivers have taken a stand against how their country’s money is being spent. Drivers are rebelling against their union due to not receiving a 10-percent increase to their salary, after agreements were made to do so. Instead they were reduced to 5-percent due to the funds to construct the stadium. The labor protests have led to fires and destruction in the streets, and numerous people fear that it is unsafe to attend the event. However, there are beneficial factors associated with the upcoming World Cup. Some government officials state that the tournament could add over half of a percentage point of economic growth this year and over half a million jobs. In addition, the economy in Brazil is expected to grow 1.6 percent this year just from this event. The World Cup has promised to serve as an opportunity to improve the Brazilian economy, but the natives think the money can be used for better purposes.