World Cup in Brazil Is Not Going to Be Perfect but We'll Have to Deal with It

Juan ArangoContributor IJanuary 17, 2014

Rio de Janeiro
Rio de JaneiroLeo Correa/Associated Press

When United States national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann was heading back home after the World Cup draw in December, he faced a painfully annoying experience that many of us have dealt with in our livesflight delays.

Klinsmann's flight was delayed eight hours in Bahia as he recalled in an interview with Sport TV in Brazil this week while the United States national team was in the middle of training in the Barrio Funda complex in São Paulo.  In that interview, the former German national team coach preached one thingpatience. 

"I will have to adjust to the Brazilian way (of doing things)," said the former German national team caoch in the interview with the Brazilian outlet prior to the national team’s trip to Sao Paulo. Further patience was shown by Klinsmann earlier in the week, when the flight carrying the US delegation was diverted to Rio due to weather and the plane had to refuel. That added another four hours to the flight’s 12-hour sojourn from Los Angeles via US Soccer.

It is necessary to point out the US and their need for patience as this coming summer they will be the team that will have to travel the most. A grand total of 14,000km will be accumulated in frequent flyer points by the United States just for them to play in the group stage against Germany, Portugal and Ghana. How much will they be able to gather when they have these types of logistical challenges? We we’ll see.

Now if the teams are beginning to express their discontent, imagine what fans will face upon their arrival.

Klinsmann hits it on the spot as far as “the Brazilian way;” it’s what’s to blame for all the delays in the overall planning and constructions that will be used for the upcoming World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympic Games.

The infamous Brazilian “jeitinho,” the colloquial term used to find a way to circumvent via street smarts, is part of the reason why the World Cup is teetering on the brink of disaster. Add politics to the mix and we have what is going on and what could happen in the coming months.

There are efforts being made to look to avoid certain logistical challenges to an event that has seen incredible demand. Brazil’s Civil Aviation Authority announced on Friday that there would be an additional 1,973 domestic flights added to be able to match the demand that there will be in the months of June and July via BBC World.

The big question here is not the amount of flights being added, the bigger question is will the airports that are being renovated throughout Brazil be able to sustain this added load and will those renovations help during the World Cup.   

Despite all this, there is a silver lining in all of this. Brazilian president Dilma Roussef headed to Belo Horizonte on Friday on her first official trip of 2014 to announce that there will be funds made available for the city failing subway system in order to upgrade it as per Iracema Amaral of daily Estado de Minas

This bit of business was part of the Brazilian president’s follow up on what she promised the people during the summer that saw many protests in cities all over the South American nation in the implementation of part of the 50 billion reais (£12.91 billion) that are set aside by the Brazilian government in the Urban Transport Pact to improve transport throughout the country. This of course happens after there was a failure to obtain a bid in the privatization the government looked for when it came to roads and highways in Minas Gerais.

What is the “silver lining” you may facetiously ask? Well Dilma Roussef is fighting for re-election later this year; and we know how productive politicians get when their incumbency is on the line. Another little caveat, Belo Horizonte is the home of Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) candidate and former governor of Roussef’s state of Minas Gerais, Aecio Neves—her opponent in the October elections. Neves is the grandson of former Brazilian president-elect Tancredo Neves after the end of the Brazilian military regime in the mid-80’s.

These, amongst many more reasons, are why Brazil’s jeitinho is their biggest stumbling block. For decades, Brazilians have looked for change; unfortunately this time around the government did not get it.

Transport is not the only problem; there are other parts of Brazilian infrastructure that were completely omitted by this World Cup “bonanza.” It’s the grotesquely ever-growing expense that this World Cup is accumulating. Those numbers reaching the equivalent of the GDP of various emerging nations was spent on stadiums that might end up being pink elephants by the time August rolls around.

In the meantime, any upgrades on the social services end find themselves buried in the red tape of bureaucracy. Profesor Marcos Troyjo of Columbia University mentioned this in an article in the Financial Times when he mentions that the nation has come up short in establishing an “infrastructure legacy” while falling short of something the World Cup would demand. Jeitinho, you’d say?

At this point these types of measures, when countered by news of more battles within favelas in Rio of many residents there that are looking to fight against evictions, as per The Guardian, as well as the crime that haunts their everyday existence. It’s not just the logistics that will receive criticism.

So one would have to agree with what Jurgen Klinsmann says about patience when the time comes. Load up with Job-like patience. Then again let’s see how we’ll heed Jurgen’s bit of advice when the World Cup is underway.