World Cup for whom and for what?

A look upon the legacy of the World Cups in Brazil, South Africa and Germany

Edited by Fundação Heinrich Böll Brasil (HBS), this publication compares the arrangements of the World Cups, in Germany (2006), South Africa (2010) and Brazil (2014). In a critical way it shows how Fifa's, governments' and sponsors' actions market the public spaces, always justifying that countries will be benefited from the legacy of the event.

"In the middle of the debate there are clear findings to be made. First of all: World Cups are expensive to the public vaults, and, consequently, to tax payers of the hosting country. Contrary to what President Lula announced in 2007, Brazil World Cup will not be "the private initiative World Cup". About 20 percent of costs are being funded by private companies. Second: regardless the polemic question of the high expenses compromising budgets in the social, health and education areas (for some, a mere question of logic), the huge social costs are undeniable. It is in this perspective that this publication offers a comparative look between Brazil's World Cup preparations and the actual results of the two previous ones: South Africa (2010) and Germany (2006). We inquire here what the mega-events bring to the hosting countries populations, especially for the less favored by public policies, the ones at the bottom of the social pyramid. It also inquiries in what measure the transformations caused by mega-events or introduced in their names respect or restrain – or even violate – rights assured by national and international legislation. The three articles make a comparison of financial and social costs, analyzing legal and financial exception regimes, legislation changes, national and local interventions in the economy of host countries. Changes in different levels are highlighted: on security legislation, on basic rules of social policies, on bidding and contract regimes, on budgeting legislation, which are structures of the installation of a mega-event in a country. It must be considered the real costs of a mega-event are hard to evaluate. There are different cost forms, hidden or indirect: tax exemptions or subsidies for Fifa and other companies, bidding and hiring processes that are manipulated, low interest loans, city debts by acquiring loans at market interests. Not to mention corruption."

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Heinrich Böll Foundation
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