Brazil’s World Cup ennui
The mood in Brazil is sour. With the much-coveted World Cup games less than a month away, it is hard to find the joy among Brazilians about this upcoming global event. The absence of visual displays promoting the games in cities like Rio de Janeiro further underscores the lack of enthusiasm that accompanies this event. Workers at the newly rebuilt airport in Brasilia, the nation’s capital, are still scrambling to complete the signs and unveil the newest parts of that city’s airport. The people movers lay dormant as travelers now drag suitcases long distances to the airport’s older exit.
Daily strikes of police, bus drivers and other service workers have caused the usual traffic jams to intensify in cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The nuisance of long delays and rising tempers only makes the atmospherics of a usually happy place seem like a distant memory. This impression is confirmed by public opinion polling that compared public support for Brazil’s hosting the World Cup at 79 percent in 2008 and in April of 2014 at only 48 percent. These challenges are compounded by reports from international news media chiding Brazil for its lack of preparedness for the games.
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