We are only hours away from Holland v Spain to decide who will take home the trophy as World Champions for the first time ever.
It also means we are only hours away from the end of the greatest sporting event the world sees every four years. Personally I believe it is never too soon to look forward to the next event and what it will bring us.
Here are ten storylines to follow leading up to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014...
Much needed additions to the game will be added by FIFA we are told by its general secretary Jerome Valcke. These can include but are not limited to instant replays, goal line technology and additional refs.
I think they can find a way to utilize the sort of technology used during marathons to verify were a runner is and has been via a chip in the shoe to avoid cheaters.
In an ever modernizing world, FIFA appears to continuously step backwards going as far as censoring in stadium replays to avoid controversy.
That’s right FIFA, instead of fixing the problem you just don’t acknowledge the fact there is a problem and you make sure the pictures shown to the masses don’t add to the controversy. Way to go Sepp, your one step closer to turning FIFA into Venezuela.
“I would say that it is the final World Cup with the current refereeing system," Jerome Valcke, general secretary of FIFA said earlier this week.
Despite no detailed info on this, we must assume that he means a change in goal line technology and additional ref’s being used during matches.
During the 2010 Liga Europe, FIFA began using two extra linesman and they plan to continue its development during the upcoming Champions League and 2012 Euro qualifiers.
About time FIFA, they spend enough time and money to sensor in stadium replays after the Tevez incident instead of utilizing technology to its advantage. That doesn’t sound like any stance being taken by any organization that is in charge of national and international sporting events.
Europe will claim its first ever title outside of European soil in a few hours after either Spain or Holland come away victorious in the 2010 final, but will they be able to maintain the success?
Europe has never won outside of its own continent and has never won back to back titles except for Italy in 1934 and 1938.
Of the four World Cups hosted in South America, 1930, 1950, 1962, 1978, Europe has two second place finishes even though bringing over more teams than South America has waiting.
FIFA has stated there will be 12 locations for games in Brazil when 2014 comes around and of those 12, only four could be “brand new” stadiums.
The new locations will all be built in the northern part of Brazil, except for the proposed Cuiabá based stadium, which will be closer to Bolivia than any other stadium being used in 2014.
South Africa almost didn’t get everything built on time due to strikes and lack of funds, two things that may be present in Brazil come 2014. People must remember that just as the case in South Africa, Brazil is not a first world nation and the ability to build such massive venues in a short time is not normal.
Even stadiums that are to be upgraded, such as the Maracanã in Rio and the Mineirão in Belo Horizonte are set to close for renovations but they still have yet to do so.
This picture shows us the potential look the Morumbi could have for 2014. FIFA for their part already said no thanks to this stadium.
Everyone knows how great beaches in Rio are right? Well of the 12 cities to host matches, nine are 30 minutes from beaches. We all know Copacabana and its fame but get ready for many, many more.
Fortaleza, Natal & Recife will host matches that despite taking part during Brazil’s winter will seem like it’s the dead of summer. Close enough to the Equator, the majority of the Northern cities hosting matches will feel like its summer all over again.
In South Africa we saw something very peculiar; many matches had lots of empty seats! How can the World Cup not sell out?? FIFA? We are waiting for an answer….
This will not be the case in Brazil, empty seats won’t be due to lack of ticket sales but instead simply lack of ticket holders desire to get to the stadium. During the World Cup we always see people having fun in the crowds, dressing in costumes as such. We can expect that in Brazil as well, but I want to know if the crowds can be somewhat close to how they are in everyday games during the Brazilian domestic leagues.
Even though the tournament will run during the winter in Brazil, the temperature will not be as low as it was in South Africa. Only the three southernmost cities hosting matches in 2014 will actually have a potential of getting “cold” however that is relevant to the other cities who will not at all feel the cold effect.
In case you haven’t seen how it is, I have included that picture.
Brazil is a dangerous place; it’s a third world country after all. Very much so like South Africa, there is a huge gap between the “haves” and have nots”. It is easy for people that are looking at this aspect from the outside to say we will surely have problems. Even in South Africa we had security issues most did not hear about, Uruguay’s hotel rooms were broken into during matches, there was even several demonstrations by people hired to be security inside the stadiums due to a disagreement over money with FIFA.
Brazil is full of visible Favelas (slums) that rise up on hillsides through most major cities. The preparation with regards to security will be greater than in South Africa simply because after the World Cup leaves, Brazil still has to get ready to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Brazil hosted the 2007 Pan-American games in Rio without any major incident, something we can all look towards when we question the ability of a developing nation to provide security for a mass influx of people for a specified short period of time.
Brazilian Police are constantly mounting anti-crime raids in these Favelas, searching for drugs, arms and fugitives who become hidden by some of the people occupying these shacks. If you feel these aren’t a possible threat to security I suggest you look up BOPE procedures on youtube. Even the national team can’t stay away from this, Adriano is currently linked to a group of criminals who have enough power to obtain RPG’s and have even brought down helicopters who were assisting the police in these raids.
Brazil’s biggest city, São Paulo, has a population of near 20,000,000, it has three of the largest teams in Brazil and if you include the outlying areas it is home to four “giants” of Brazilian soccer.
The area has a total of six World Club titles, six Copa Libertadores titles and 16 (of 39) Brazilian domestic league titles. Yet there is no “guarantee” the city will host a match during the World Cup.
The largest stadium in the city is the Morumbi stadium owned by São Paulo FC. FIFA has already said it will not host a match there despite the efforts underway to remodel the stadium which was opened in 1960. FIFA still lists São Paulo as a host city but since they have said no to the Morumbi and with no new stadiums in the plans where will they play? Pacaembu Stadium, owned by the city opened in 1940 and actually hosted matches during the 1950 World Cup. The highest attendance at the Pacaembu is 71,000+ way back in 1942 even though the accepted capacity is actually around 40,000. The Morumbi however is much bigger; it is the world’s largest privately owned stadium and has a record attendance of 138,000+ but now only holds 75,000 at most.
FIFA has a few options, but they need to just accept one and move on already. Imagine if L.A. didn’t host a single game during a World Cup in the states.
When we take out the current World Cup in Africa from consideration, Brazil is the only nation to ever win a World Cup without at one point winning it at home (Spain or Holland will join them Sunday). The only opportunity was in 1950 and it is considered the single worst moment in Brazilian soccer history, so much so I do not need to provide details for my own sake here.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, better known as Lula (octopus) was quoted this week in South Africa during the presentation for the 2014 World Cup at Soccer City as saying ‘Europeans and North Americans need to come to Brazil already knowing the Cup has an owner. If not Brazil’s self esteem will reach the ultimate bottom.”
This picture is showing Uruguay's second goal in the final versus Brazil in 1950 where the match ended 2-1 for the "visitors".
Did you think there was an uproar regarding Budwiser being the only beer served in the 2006 World Cup in Germany? Well I think Brazil has them beat.
I assume this will be a surprise to most of you, but believe it or not, beer is never for sale at Brazilian soccer matches. Since April 2008 this has been the case and was instituted in an effort to curb violence inside stadium gates and even after the match.
The rule stating that beer can not be sold during games is not a “law” but is instead a rule maintained by the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation). FIFA has as a main World Cup sponsor a beer company and even has designed areas inside the stadiums to display said company advertisements.
Authorities in Brazil have said they will fight to the end to secure the ban but really, has anyone made FIFA do something they didn’t want? No it is always the other way around.