Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014



Tick - Tock.  Time is running out for Brazil.  The World Cup starts in a mere fifty days.  Are you ready, Brazil?  The first match between you and Croatia is scheduled to start at four o'clock on June 13th in São Paolo.  Is the brand-new stadium ready?  Will you be able to handle the 100,000 angry protesters? Will you team win as your former president promised?

Sorry...we need to slow down here at the DUNER BLOG.  Let's just examine the three most important issues:

Unfinished Stadiums.  When your nation gets selected to host a World Cup, you take orders from FIFA, the international body that controls soccer.  This group issues a strict schedule that must be adhered to. See, FIFA demands that a dozen massive stadiums are built, as well as supporting infrastructure like hotels, transport, etc.  As of today, nine of the twelve arenas are up and ready to go.  São Paulo and Porto Alegre are close.  The last arena is deep in the Amazon rain forest and it has been difficult getting supplies...like foam fingers...to the remote location.  But don't worry...FIFA head Sepp Blatter is calm and is "confident in Brazil's work."

Security.  Minutes after Sepp's announcement back on March Third 2003 that Brazil would be hosting the World Cup, protesters stormed onto the streets.  They demanded the government build homes for the poor instead of stadiums for the wealthy. (And Brazilians only trail Greeks in terms of passionate political protest.)   Desperate to quell unrest, particularly in Rio and São Paolo, officials have a simple, yet effective plan: Send in the army and seal off the favelas for two months.  All seemed calm until last week, when a flamingo dancer was accidentally killed by police.  The only thing Brazilians love more than soccer is samba, and riots ensued.  However, within hours, the tourist zones were cleared and the Impanema Metro Station was re-opened.

Can Brazil Win? While Brazil should be worrying about the above two issues, all people really care about is the trophy.  Currently, odds makers have the home team as the favorite, followed by hated rivals Argentina and Germany.  We here at the DUNER BLOG are tabbing Spain to upset.  They are the defending champs, La Liga is by far the best league in the world and their roster is loaded with stars.  We're talking Xavi Hernandez, David Villa, Iker Cassillas, Gerard Pique and Shakira.

In summary, we here at the DUNER BLOG agree with FIFA and have complete confidence with Brazil's abilities to host an event as huge as the World Cup.  We also disagree with the protesters. Major sporting events do boost your nation's image overseas. With the Olympics coming to the nation two years from now, look for foreign investment to come pouring in, as the world will understand the value of this amazing country.

We can't wait for the WORLD CUP to start!

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