5 Ways the World Cup Has Failed to Relieve Poverty
Destitute life in the slums of Rio de Janeiro has changed very little over the years. The streets may be currently adorned in green and yellow, but the quality of life continues to be the same.
1. The Most Expensive World Cup in History
The projected cost for hosting the games is more than $11 billion, which makes it the most expensive World Cup since it began 84 years ago. Citizens are complaining that the government of Brazil is spending so much money on the World Cup while many of its citizens are living in poverty. Paying for this World Cup has come out of these citizens’ taxpayer dollars.
2. Spent Billions of Dollars; Are There More Important Endeavors?
The money that was spent on the World Cup, on structures like stadiums and other sporting infrastructure, takes away from money that could have been spent on basic needs that many Brazilian citizens lack, such as education, better health care and adequate housing.
3. Corruption in the Brazilian Government and FIFA
The Brazilian government has been accused of overspending and corruption. The cost of building the Mane Garrincha Stadium came out to be $900 million, triple the original amount, largely due to fraud and corruption. FIFA, which has always been known for corruption, will be gaining all profits from the World Cup, while Brazil is paying the costs. The gains will not go to the people who really need it in Brazil, even though the Brazilian government has spent so much money on the World Cup. Many Brazilians can’t afford tickets to the games, or even afford to travel to protests against the World Cup, while their taxpayer dollars have gone towars paying for the World Cup.
4. Providing More Business For Sex Tourism
Sex tourism is encouraged in Brazil, and hotels and taxis are even part of the network that links clients with women and young girls. In Recife, one of the World Cup sites and also one of the poorest parts of Brazil, 120,000 soccer tickets were sold to foreigners. The women and young girls know that foreigners coming have a lot of money and “they come to Brazil to have fun.” A handful of sex workers have even taken English classes in order to negotiate better. The World Cup was originally sold to Brazilians as an economic boost because of the rewards of greater tourism. Unfortunately, one of the facets of tourism in Brazil is the sex industry, and this increase in tourism is perpetuating the sad cycle of abuse in the industry.
5. Encouraging Child Exploitation
Sadly, the sex industry in Brazil exploits children as well. Recife has one of the worst records in the world when it comes to child exploitation. In Sao Lourenço, where the Recife stadium is located, some of the street vendors not only sell food, but also their children for sexual exploitation. Child exploitation is so out of control in Brazil that officials are worried that tourists coming to Brazil for the World Cup will not respect their legislation on sex tourism.
— Colleen Moore
Sources: A.V. Club, WNCN, CBC, Philly.com, CNBC