When Brazil won the right to host the 2014 World Cup a friend looked at me and through his big grin declared: ‘Let the robbing begin!’

He was not wrong.

Stadiums alone are three times over budget and will likely increase more as the kick-off nears, as I describe here in today’s Reuters story.

It’s the same story elsewhere, as the big construction companies take advantage.

To cite one quote in my story:

     “This is all just a chance for the big construction firms to get their hands in the till,”  said Christopher Gaffney, a visiting professor at the graduate school of architecture and urban planning at the Fluminense Federal University.  “Society is not going to benefit in any way.”

I think Brazil thoroughly deserves the right to host the World Cup. As the only team to win the trophy five times and as the home of many of the world’s greatest players, FIFA had a certain duty to take the tournament to the game’s spiritual home.

I truly believe that the tournament will be a great success. Fans will come from all over the world and be treated well by Brazilians. They will encounter a great climate in a beautiful country, populated by welcoming locals, and they will have an unforgettable experience.

But then they will leave and Brazilians will be left with the hangover. Few new roads. Few new airports. Not enough new hotels. Arenas that will be white elephants. Inadequate infrastructure. All at a cost many times more than it was supposed to cost.

It was all so predictable.