jueves, 10 de julio de 2014

The Manaos Stadium: A Rock in Brazil's Shoe

The World Cup is coming to an end. But as many celebrate the excitement the matches have brought, others mourn their adverse results. May I propose another topic for discussion, that of the Manaos stadium. Manaos is a city where there is no professional football team. The problem lies in the future of the stadium once the World Cup is over. My belief is that the stadium will become the object of a terrible power play between rival gangs, seeking to gain exclusive control of the stadium, regardless of what state forces can do.In fact, something similar might just happen in other cities where so many people were violently displaced to make room for the stadiums. I fear some of these people might take to pillage the stadiums, which would naturally call for a police or army response. It is the social aspect that ought to be considered here and of course its natural economic consequence. Funds that could have otherwise have been used to bolster the same social investment neglected by the World Cup preparations will have to go to the defense budget. This will not only enrage people further, but will also incite the indignation of the international community, including football fans.
And Brazilians will be left alone to try and quash the uprisings and the violence surge.
How this will escalate so quickly may not be clear to people who do not love football as much as South Americans do, but one thing that must be taken into consideration here is that, above all, South Americans are passionate about everything. Latinos know about limits, but choose to ignore them. In that way, the same passion that has fueled the World Cup celebrations for nearly a month now will swiftly turn to rage and rioting as soon as the dust settles and Brazilians realize as a whole that the World Cup has left virtually nothing behind.The police and military forces will find themselves in the crosshairs of the civilian population, and once again civilians will attack themselves, as it were. And only the defense contractors will stand to gain, as the political stage will also be shaken by the unrest. President Rousseff will seek her reelection, but with so much invested into the World Cup and so many other problems willfully neglected, it will be an uphill battle.Bottomline, I see the police having to control many very violent protests across the country. I see the press being strongarmed to broadcast government publicity, presidential debates and social propaganda. I see the independent press being attacked by agitators, and the stadiums destroyed.

But not the emblematic Maracana. No one would dare touch that one. That is a sacred one.