Brazil is not ready to host FIFA

A demonstrator protests with a Brazilian national flag

A demonstrator protests with a Brazilian national flag against the upcoming FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 29, 2014. 

Brazil takes the international stage in just 37 days, when the first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off. Some experts say the country isn't ready, though a part of that isn't exactly a surprise.

"Brazil always does things at the last minute, and the fact that Brazil is so late perhaps could be predicted," says the BBC's Wyre Davis, reporting from Rio de Janeiro. "I think what couldn't be predicted was this 'perfect storm,'" referring to the crowds of unhappy Brazilians protesting in the streets.

The protests, he says, deal with the fact that $15 billion is being spent on the World Cup alone--without any sign of how surrounding communities will benefit.

"A lot of people are saying, 'Well hang on, what do we get out of this?'" he said. "'OK, Brazil might win the tournament, which is good news for us as soccer fans, but where's everything else that was promised?'"

Among the promises, Davies says, are integrated transport and increased infrastructure. This doubt of benefits has led urban planning professor Christopher Gaffney to proclaim Brazil has already lost the World Cup.

"We've concentrated on the wrong projects, we've overbuilt in all these ways. So in the end, it's going to be a big party, but Brazilians will have a hangover for the next generation."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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