FIFA finally came out and said what everyone knows. That Brazil is not doing what it should do to prepare for the 2014 World Cup.
Secretary general Jerome Valcke told reporters he was “amazed” at how little Brazil has done in the two and a half years since it was unanimously chosen to host the tournament.
Valcke can hardly be surprised. Anyone who knows Brazil and more specifically the cynical incompetence of the Brazilian Football Confederation could see from the get go that this was going to happen.
Few people wanted to say it out loud and rain on the parade. But all the signs were there from Rio’s poor organization of the Pan American Games in 2007 and the chronic lack of transparency in the CBF.
I predicted it here in this piece for Time, which also highlights the dangers inherent in organizing the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Juca Kfouri has spoken about it at length on his blog.
And yet even now, Valcke’s remarks were not front page news.
Brazilians should be proud of hosting the World Cup and Olympics in short succession. But those at the top need to put that pride aside and get down to work.
And everyone else needs to start pressuring their leaders to avoid a PanAm scenario of hastily built stadiums and sub-standard infrastructure.