Sometimes if you repeat a falsehood often enough you actually believe it’s true.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told us today the government has “done its part” and that the country will be ready to host the World Cup.
“I want to guarantee to everyone, first and foremost, that we have done our part,” she said. “We have stadiums ready, airports ready, we guarantee security during this period and I am sure that the Brazilian people are generous, happy and will welcome (visitors). Both off the field and on it we will show the power of our country.”
With 48 days to go three stadiums are still not ready and won’t be completely done by the time the games kick off on June 12. There won’t be enough time to properly test all the facilities.
Airports are even worse. The new terminal at Guarulhos might be “finished” but not enough to handle more than one-in-four of the international flights touching down at the airport, Brazil’s biggest. It will receive less than 10 % of all traffic.
The airport at Fortaleza won’t be ready so passengers will be greeted in a makeshift terminal area made out of tarpaulin.
And don’t get me started on public transport, the once much vaunted legacy that is now in tatters. Brazil shelved or cut back on so many projects that it is now spending more on luxurious stadiums for the few than proper roads, bus lanes, tram lines and metros for the many.
No sane person could consider Brazil “ready.”
Is there a silver lining in this? No.
But at least Dilma was right about one thing. Brazilians are generous, happy and welcoming. The Cup should at least be fun.