25 Jun 2014

Brazil’s World Cup, So far so good…

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By Ronald Z. Carvalho, Precise Advisory Senior Consultant

Olympics in Sochi in February. FIFA World Cup in Brazil in June/July. Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. It’s a busy time for the sports world.  With all eyes on Brazil for this month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup, here is the latest post from Precise Advisory Group’s Ronald Carvalho from Brazil. Ronald shares some in-country perspectives and insights into the preparation and planning – and challenges – of his country’s staging of two of the world’s biggest sporting events: the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, world football’s governing body was right. The local impression of Brazilians, tourists and local media is “ . . . this is a greatest Cup ever!” People are celebrating in the streets like an enormous carnival. Mexicans singing Brazilian songs. Argentinians fraternizing on Rio beaches. Germans living like natives in Bahia.

Despite all the criticism by the “catastrophe lovers” in the international media, everybody here in Brazil is happy. Even the football/futbol (soccer for the Americans) is good. Some disappointments, of course, like Spain, but good matches are predominate. Germany, Holland, Chile and others are running their show professionally and pleasing all football fans.

Even in the area of organization of the Cup, things have been very good. Sure, there are some problems, but these are very few. In general, it has been a safe, happy and technically well-run World Cup. Well, yes, there have been some riots. Yes, like in South Africa or Germany, protesters take advantage of the worldwide media’s presence and attention, especially since they are looking for something “controversial” to report.

Alas, protesters are part of the democratic process.  I believe that fewer people are protesting in Brazilian streets than on Wall Street or Champs Elysées, but that might just be my Brazilian pride showing. And, I do not trivialize the genuine and important issues raised by protestors around the world.

During a recent interview, however, by Camaroonian media visiting my home town of Vitoria — where the Cameroonian team is staying – I was asked “Why does the European media talk so badly about this wonderful country?” It’s all persepctive I guess.

As a sports and media consultant who was born, raised and has worked a successful career in Brazil, I’m not surprised that the Cup is going better than outsiders expected. On one level, the live spectacle, passion, national pride and real-time drama that is sports competition usually prevails over boring criticism of tangential issues. And perhaps, Brazil was not as “unprepared” as the “outside” media would have had you believe. If you want to know about Brazil, just ask me and I’ll help you understand how we live and work here.

A vida é boa e futebol nunca falha
[Life is good and football never fails]

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