FIFA officials are making sure some of the host cities in Brazil are up to the challenge of hosting World Cup matches in 2014. After much speculation that some of the cities are not ready, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcki went back to Brazil to continue his tour of all 12 host cities this week.
Valcke said, "The visits are very important not only to see the stadiums and the general infrastructure progress but also to be able to discuss with the host cities and states representatives our joint mission, as they are providing the essential playing field for the teams and their fans."
Brazil last hosted the World Cup in 1950; getting to host the biggest sporting event in the world is a very big deal and incredible opportunity for any country. The opportunity to host the Cup will give Brazil the chance to possibly pull some of the cities out of dismal economies and some out of poverty. It won't happen entirely just because of one event, but it'll definitely lend a hand. If the cities aren't taking the opportunity seriously then those cities' officials are not taking advantage of an incredibly fortunate hand to make a lot of money for their constituency.
Elections are important, and if the people of those cities that are not yet ready -according to Secretary General Valcki's standards - some of those cities' citizens should consider if their elected officials are doing all they can to take advantage of the economic benefits the World Cup brings to their city. It seems like a no brainer that most of those cities should be ready by 2014. Other nations would've gladly taken the World Cup if they were selected. And I'm sure their cities would have been ready by now, or, close to it.
Former Brazil striker Ronaldo and sports ministry official Luis Fernandes, members of the local organizing committee, accompanied Valcke on his tour. With Ronaldo there, I hope it wasn't used as more of a publicity tour than an actual service that FIFA takes very seriously that those stadiums and host cities are ready. I think Ronaldo is sensational, he's great for the sport of football, but this was an imperative trip for Valcke that needed to be done.
On Tuesday, Valcke visited the jungle city of Manaus and, on Wednesday, he visited the western city of Cuiaba. He ended his trip by partaking in a board meeting of the local organizing committee on Thursday in Rio de Janiero.
Note: I've been an Arsenal fan for nearly a decade. My cousin got me interested in the club at a young age.
- Sports & Recreation