Brazil ready for the Beautiful Game?

The boys from Brazil lined up for success, says London-based writer Ramy Salameh.

One
only needs to go back only as far as 2012 to notice that the hosts of
major sporting events tend to be criticised over the same factors on the
build up to an ‘Opening ceremony’. This ‘cloud of negativity’ only
seems to dissipate once the tournament begins and gains popular backing.
The London Olympics was a case in point, with a number of dissenting
voices pointing to cost, sustainability and legacy as reasons why the
Games were not good for the city and nation.  

The dark clouds of
doubt hung over London until the Olympic torch was lit and then, almost
overnight, rays of positivity beamed down on the Olympic stadium as
national fervour and support reached unprecedented levels. It seems that
a similar pattern has emerged for Brazil: concerns over infrastructure
and safety were just a couple of hot issues to have made the headlines
recently.

At a recent press conference, the Ambassador of Brazil
to the UK, said eyes were firmly set on the long term vision for tourism
that the World Cup would  bring. “Look how our economy has grown in
just a few years,” he said, highlighting the social change being brought
about in Brazil with the population enjoying more leisure activities.
Brazil is well used to meeting the demands of domestic tourism which
dwarfs the demands of the 600K fans expected to descend on Brazil during
the 30 days of the tournament. “Logistically we can easily handle
that,” the Ambassador said.

The Ambassador pointed out that
football is a fundamental factor for national and social integration, in
Brazil. “It is pretty much a religion, with the country having taken
part in all World Cups since the start and winning on five occasions. He
did acknowledge there would be some doubters asking questions over the
cost of FIFA’s flagship tournament, and cites the problems London had
pre-Olympics.

Recent social demonstrations, the Ambassador believes, will not derail the main event.

The
key message of national tourism board Embratur is that the diversity of
the country, represented by host destinations Manaus, Sao Paulo and
Belo Horizonte, would shine through.

Manaus has a strong English
influence and is waiting for England fans to rediscover the city. Sao
Paolo’s new airport terminal and specific ‘Expresso da  Copa’ train
carrying fans direct to the football stadium will ease congestion in a
city of 12m. While England play their final group game in Belo
Horizonte, home to one of the largest stadiums in Brazil and also the
future base camp for the British Olympic team to train ahead of the 2016
Olympic Games.

I believe Brazil is most definitely ‘Ready’ for the tournament, with all stadia to be handed over to FIFA from early April.

The only question that remains is whether Brazil’s national team  can collect their sixth World Cup title.

I, for one, would not bet against them!

Image:
Goal to Brazil, London, Wednesday 19 March 2014. From the left,
clockwise: Joao Carvalho de Araujo, Head of Tourist Promotions and the
Marketing Department for Amazonastur; Leila Holsbach, Director of
International Markets for Embratur; HE Roberto Jaguaribe, Ambassador of
Brazil to the UK; Fuleco, 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Official Mascot; HE
Ambassador Carlos Henrique Cardim, Chief International Advisory to the
Ministry of Sport in Brazil; Orlando de Souza, Marketing Director at Sao
Paulo Tourism Office and Chairman of the Board at SÃ??£o Paulo Convention
& Visitors Bureau; Camillo Fraga Reis, Minas Gerais Municipal
Secretary for the World Cup.

Any comments? Email jdavis@mashmedia.net

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Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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