Defence ministers in Brazil have revealed that over 150,000 troops will be deployed to ensure this summer’s FIFA World Cup runs smoothly and safely.
Football returns to its spiritual home for the first time in over 60 years as Brazil prepares to host the sport’s biggest event for the first time since 1950. However, what should be billed as a worldwide party has been somewhat tarnished by fears of potential safety issues.
As per BBC News, hostilities in the country made worldwide news last year as violent protests marred what was an otherwise successful Confederations Cup for Brazil.
Public aggression has continued throughout the past year, with demonstrations occurring on a frighteningly frequent basis. Many of Brazil’s residents are unhappy with the vast amounts being spent on the tournament, especially at a time of economic crisis.
According to the Guardian’s Jonathan Watts, the event has cost Brazil a whopping $11 billion—reportedly three times the amount spent on South Africa’s World Cup four years ago. That overspend, combined with poor worker safety conditions, has been the major factor in fuelling most of the violence.
However, Brazilian officials are adamant that they have the situation under control. Jay Cortez of Sports World News reported that Brazil has pledged to put aside $856 million toward tournament safety, while defence minister Celso Amorim has vowed that the country is "perfectly prepared" ahead of the month-long event.
Brazil open the World Cup on June 12 as they take on Croatia in Sao Paulo—where poor preparations have led to huge delays, as well as worker deaths. The pre-tournament favourites then face Mexico in Fortaleza before completing their Group A campaign against Cameroon in the capital, Brasilia, on June 23.
The final takes place in Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium on July 13.
Can Brazil overcome the potential violence? Post your thoughts below.