Is the host country now ready to liberate himself from the hangover of FIFA 2014?
If someone is to be given the imposing task of summing up the key highlights of the FIFA 2014, hosted by Brazil, then it would be an arduous exercise for him or her to give it in an epigrammatic manner. From the 7-1 symbolic manslaughter of the Brazilian football team in the hands of their German opponents in the semi-finals to the early exits of the predicted to be probable trophy-lifters viz. England, Spain, Italy & Portugal; from the accession of a new world-class striker in the form of a Colombian, James Rodriguez, to the loss of the closest chance to etch his name in the football history as a “great”, by Lionel Messi; inexorably this world cup did have its own few surprises to throw at us. It has been a world cup of riots as well as that of massively scaled celebrations.FIFA 2014 has also been filled with scandalous controversies (Go Suarez!) as well as that of record breaking achievements of players. Though being also called a world cup of the “underdogs”, Germany prevailed and won the golden trophy this time.
Shifting back the focus of this analysis to the impact that this event created on its host nation from start to its subtle end, let us first examine the prominent antagonistic response of the locals towards the infrastructure growth and other developments for the event that the Brazilian government undertook. The million dollar funds that the government employed in organizing the event caused a mass uproar among the citizens, as these funds could have instead been used in other national core sectors which have been in a poor state for a long period. But as the Brazilian team started winning its matches and the people appreciated the revenue from tourism that the world cup generated, the commotion fell to a much lower level and almost disappeared during the subsequent stages of the tournamentand patriotic joy instilled the Brazilians.
Everything, including the mood of the nation, was in the right place for Brazil until when Neymar, their most important player, experienced an ominous vertebrae injury leading to his rule out for the remaining matches. Also their skipper, Thiago Silva, got himself suspended for the next game. Although in that match Brazil overcame the young and enthusiastic Colombian side with a score of 2-1, yet the worse and the worst was still to come. In the next match against Germany, Brazil experienced the biggest world cup defeat of all times (7-1), embarrassingly on their own soil. During the first half of the game,the world saw Germany netting 4 goals in a really short span of just 4 minutes. Hell broke loose for the Brazilian fans, as they witnessed this inapprehensible circus. This game even became the most followed football event in the history of twitter. Still the team just made it worse for the fans as they lost to Netherlands in the fight for the third place and hence ended forth in the tournament.
Letting bygones be bygones, we can say that in spite of the pictures of half finished stadiums, violent riots and 8 construction related deaths of its workers, Brazil was satisfactorily able to pull this world cup off and did win as an organizer, proving the previous negative apprehensions of many of its critics wrong in the process. Many a times the government had to violate many important civil ethics to serve the purpose of maintaining law and order to smoothly run the world cup. Even stun grenades and rubber bullets were used in the process of suppressing the protests. The day of the final also witnesses suck section from the authorities including the use of pepper spray to repulse the protesters.Still it had to face minor events of on-pitch as well as off-pitch humiliation. Keeping in mind the sweet-bitter memories of this world cup, what Brazil needs now is some deep soul searching. Many local football legends believe that to regain its previous playing form, Brazil needs to stop exporting its football talent to other nations.
The prime blame taker of this lack-lustre performance of the team has been none other than the national coach, Luis “Feelipão” Scolari, who didn’t make any prominent changes in the playing strategy of the team, since Brazil won the Confederations Cup in 2013. The 65 year old manager, who won the 2002 world cup with Brazil, submitted his resignation from the post to the respective authority as he was unable justify the reason for the continuous struggle and loss of two back to back games by Brazil, in their own backyard since 1940. His successor hasn’t yet been announced by the Brazilian Football Federation.
Despite the fact that Brazilians failed to conquer the title of world champions (if they did then it would have been their sixth final victory), the Brazilian President declared the hosting of this giant-scaled event to be a “victory” for Brazil and even took the liberty to state that the world had witnessed the “Cup of the Cups” and backed the national football team to come back to its successful indigenous playing ways. The cup final witnessed a record number of flights (572,000) in Brazil, proving the quality and order followed during the services. But the actual hint which we can extract from this statement of the President is that Brazil is ready to take the Rio Olympics 2016 head on and write a bigger and a better success story for the world. This is what the whole world too actually expects from Brazil to do in 2016. Also the bar for the next FIFA WC2018 in Russia is already set very high, as Putin was handed over this duty by his Brazilian counterpart.
But, now as the World Cup is over and so is its fever on the people of Brazil, their attention will get back to the subject of the national policy of allocation of the tax-payer’s money sanctioned for this event. The Brazilian president still owes some more answers to her people, though it is hard to say if they too will turn out to be “victorious” for her this time.