While Brazil has dominated on the pitch, thousands of protestors at the 2013 Confederations Cup have taken the limelight. The protestors aren’t exactly protesting Brazil hosting the Confederations Cup or the 2014 World Cup but where the government throws big money and where they are not. For the protestors, they want Brazil to spend more on public services among other topics.
These protests have been generally peaceful, but there have been many that have gotten violent. Police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets, and there has been at least one confirmed fatality among the protests. The public and teams’ safety are a concern, and this could carry over to the 2014 World Cup. If they do continue beyond the end of the Confederations Cup, should Brazil still host the World Cup?
FIFA hasn’t seriously looked at moving the 2014 World Cup right now, but if the protests continue on, they might want to consider the notion. Soccer and what occurs on the pitch should be the focus not protests and violence outside the stadiums.
Brazilian officials have agreed to discuss the issues brought up by protestors, and have already given in to lowering the rates on public transportation. Therefore, progress could occur fast following the Confederations Cup, but if progress isn’t made soon, then serious discussions should occur about moving the 2014 World Cup. The last thing FIFA wants is players, officials, or fans being hurt because of protests occurring near the stadiums.
I understand it would be short notice to move, but one option comes to mind. The United States has infrastructure that is already built and could be used on short notice. Between football stadiums and soccer specific games around the nation, USA could host the 2014 World Cup. However, I only see this happening as a last resort and if the protests are still going on come December.
Either way, the protests have stolen some of the focus away from the games, and if it continues on too long, it could force FIFA to move the 2014 World Cup.
Phil Naegely is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @pnaegelyRS and add him to your circles on Google.