Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

The worrying news of Brazil 2014

Posted by John Beech on April 18, 2011

On a recent work trip to Poland I asked my host if he thought Ukraine would be ready for Euro 2012.  His response was “Never mind Ukraine – I’m not sure Poland will be ready!”  Perhaps he was being unduly pessimistic.  Certainly Poznan’s stadium is looking good already:

Rather more worrying, I would argue, is the lack of preparedness for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.  Research just published by Brazil’s Institute for Economic Research (IPEA) and reported on the Sport Business website (1) includes the following gems:

  • Only two of 13 airport terminal construction projects are on schedule to be completed by the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
  • A third airport might be ready for the tournament “if everything goes right”, but the shortage of air travel provisions would cause transport problems for fans.
  • It’s increasingly unlikely that these projects will be ready on time.
  • State-owned airport authority Infraero “has a low level of efficiency in the execution of investment programs”.
  • Even if all 13 airport upgrades were to be ready on time, 10 are expected to be operating over capacity by the time of the World Cup.
  • Fourteen of Brazil’s 20 largest airports are already operating at more than 80% of capacity.
  • The World Cup is expected to attract up to one million visitors.
  • In addition to the 13 airports being upgraded for the World Cup, a brand new airport in Natal, another World Cup host city, still has no firm date for completion.

The map on the FIFA website (2) makes clear how important air travel will be for fans to move between venues, road and rail not being viable alternatives.  Flying distances can be checked out here (3) – Rio to Manaus, for example, is 1,765 miles, almost exactly the same flying distance as London to Ankara in Turkey.

I’d have to put my hand up and admit that my level of Portuguese is, well, completely zero, but if any reader can abstract more relevant info from the IPEA website I’d be glad to hear from them – the URL for the original report, is, I think, given a Google Translator fail,

So, potentially another fine mess Sepp has got us into.  By the way, it’s interesting to note what the IOC said in their evaluation report leading up to the award of the 2016 Olympics to Rio: “Necessary expansion plans for Rio International Airport will increase its capacity from 15 million people per year to 25 million by 2014.” (4)

7 Responses to “The worrying news of Brazil 2014”

    lists both Portuguese and Brazilian variants of the Portuguese language.
    I use this site for lengthier bits of Russian; and I have found that it works in German, Chinese, and Thai …
    hope it will help … !!!

  2. John Beech said

    Many thanks Trev. It specifies which are the problem airports – “Guarulhos, Brasilia, Savior, Cheerful Port, Grasslands, Fortitude, Manaus, Cuiabá and Adjoining [??]”, while suggesting that Curitiba will be finished a month after the World Cup starts! What is especially worrying is the argument that this is not in fact news, and that part of the problem arises from the way in which Brazilian airport management has been privatised.

  3. zito said

    Don’t worry; we, brazilians, are the ones who have to worry. The airports belong to the government. The government has to open a really complicated and transparent process to select the companies responsable for any construction work, EXCEPT when they are considered emergencies. If the work is late, they can say “We don’t have time to open a fair competition, we need to have someone doing the work NOW” and then they can put whoever will bribe them the most to work on it. Don’t know if my poor english made it clear, but that’s how it goes, not only here, in South Africa that’s basically what happened too. So the news that everything is late is just a way to get around the laws that are supposed to stop corruption. If it’s late, we can’t be worrying with spending less, so we just spend all our money, specially if part of it goes into the right pockets, since we don’t have time to check expenses.

  4. Will O said

    I’m not one-hundred percent sure, but weren’t we having these exact concerns in 2007/08 over the World Cup in South Africa? That turned out fine in the end, after the government threw hefty sums of cash at it. I reckon we’ll see the same again.

    • John Beech said

      I think any airport problems would have a much greater impact in Brazil simply because of the georaphy. As to whether they will actually arise, we’ll just have to wait and see – hopefully you will be proved right Will!

      Zito (above) has an interesting take on this.

      • John Beech said

        Oh, and possibly one difference between the two cases – I don’t remember (but I may be wrong) South African researh institutes expressing the same fears; it was more the British media who took a ‘doom and gloom’ line.

  5. I can’t help think that England is being saved as a back up plan to the next 2 World Cups with them being able to step in and host it tomorrow

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