HUNTING WHITE ELEPHANTS / CAÇANDO ELEFANTES BRANCOS

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07 December 2012

Lies, Truth and Chico


It`s almost too easy to pick on the CBF and the World Cup organizing committee, but they really do deserve all of the opprobrium that we can shovel on them, so let`s get to it.

Soccerex, the global football business conference, was as depressing and vapid as usual. One of the particular lowlights was the presentation offered by Ricardo Trade and Bebeto. The former is the head of something at the CBF and the LOC and the latter was a fine footballer in his day, but appears to be taking nips of electric kool-aid between electroshock sessions. Bebeto said the following at least half a dozen times, “when you`re a player, you have no idea what goes into making a World Cup, but when you`re on this side of things, you realize it’s a lot of work.” Genius! It`s probably better that Bebeto has completely ignored his duties as a federal legislator to take up a position on the left shoulder of whatever authority figure is strutting around.

The meat of the LOC`s presentation looked like it had just crawled out of Graciliano Ramos` Vidas Secas. Don`t bother asking for a copy because their public relations directive is to not give out any information. However, once in awhile, if you go to enough of these presentations, they let out something that might actually be true and I think I discovered a piece of reality in Trade`s brutal, condescending powerpoint:

   ·         Total investment in World Cup associated projects (including federal, state and city)- R$112.8 billion.
   ·         Total anticipated impact on Gross Domestic Production (PIB) – R$64.5 billion

You read correctly. According to the figures presented by the 2014 Organizing Committee at the world`s largest soccer business conference, for every R$1 invested in the World Cup, the Brazilian public can expect a return of R$0.57. Brilliant! [ed: apparently inspired by the deputy, the author begun to repeat things]

It is also important to point out (again) that the word sustainability is so hollow that if you hold it to your ear you can hear Mother Nature crying a polluted river. What no “sustainable” account of stadium construction or reform ever takes into consideration is the amount of energy and resources that go into making a monumental structure that will require even more energy to run. Does it really matter that the stadium in Brasilia will be LEED Platinum Certified if there is no demand for the principal use of the thing after 7 football matches in 2014? I`m not surprised that people say and do anything to drive up costs and to project themselves and their overblown ideas as good for society, but that these insipid discourses get accepted by journalists and the general public as evident truths is disturbing in the extreme.

Fuleco. That was not the name that received the most votes on this website but it is now the official name of the tatu-bola mascot of the World Cup. It is a mixture of “futebol” and “ecologia”. What with its high use of chemical fertilizers for fields, hundreds of thousands of kilometers of air travel, equipment manufactured in slave-like conditions in East Asia, the consumption of tens of millions of cans and bottles, vip travel in limousines and private jets, traffic jams for the rest of time, the creative destruction of cities and stadiums and the immense stresses on sewage systems in host cities it is very clear that football is an ecologically sensitive sport! It all makes perfect sense. If they weren`t walking around with pockets stuffed with public money, one would almost feel badly for the adults that have to swallow this garbage as part of their jobs. According to one report, upon hearing his name, the tatu-bola tried to commit suicide. Where are the Brazilian Kevorkians to help him along?

Cafusa. This is the name of the ball for the Confederations Cup. Confusa? Confucious? No, no, that is the ball of the 2026 World Cup in China. I`m cafuso. But thankfully because I know that all of Brazil is defined by Carnaval, Futebol and Samba, I can hopefully remember the name just like every other John Carioca. Why not pair cafusa will a ball named mulosa (mulata gostosa) and get all of the stereotypes into play?
In support of a Maracanã publico e popular
Unlike his former strike partner, Romàrio is on the CBF`s case and has just gathered enough signatures to open a Parliamentary Inquiry into the current and former leadership. The rot runs deep at the CBF and opening the black box as the World Cup starts coming into view is going to challenge FIFA`s newly re-proclaimed dedication to transparency. Força aì deputado!

The Maracanã is ours! O Maraca è nosso! The Rio de Janeiro State Legislature met yesterday to discuss the possibility of a plebecite for a yes or no vote on the privatization of the Maracanã. There are some strange bedfellows in this process, but the battle for the soul of Brazil`s most famous (and most expensive) stadium is heating up with major victories for the people. 



Here`s Chico Buarque on the subject, with more to come soon:


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