While sports fans will be closely following the FIFA World Cup Schedule, news outlets around the world are taking advantage of viewer attention by focusing on what is happening in Brazil. As such, we are likely to see a focus on issues that are plaguing Brazil. Massive poverty is, unfortunately, one of those issues. Clearly, the tournament will focus on the beauty of Brazil, but the story of South America’s largest country cannot be told without looking at the ugly.
For those traveling to see the World Cup, costs like hotel reservations and trip insurance represent modern expenses that world travelers build into their budgets to ensure their personal wellbeing and financial security. For those living in the slums of Brazil’s cities, the necessities of clean water, food, and proper shelter are far too often a strain on their budgets. The dichotomy between the lifestyles of impoverished Brazilians and those who can afford to go to the Fifa World Cup 2014 game could hardly be greater.
Although the wealthy and Global Middle Class cannot be expected to fully comprehend how those living in desperation can be affected by their poverty, i.e. what dysfunctions they learn, they can appreciate the scarcity of resources and opportunity the impoverished face. Unfortunately, those living in impoverish areas are likely to miss out on any economy boost from tourist dollars, which is what the poor communities truly need, due to the fact most tourists are unlikely to venture into these tough neighborhoods. Given Brazil spent at least $11 billion on the World Cup and the need for economic development is so great, there is expected to be a certain degree of resentment directed at visitors and government officials.
The reality in a country like Brazil is very conflicted. On the one hand, Brazil must act like a rich nation in order to stay relevant on the world stage as a global power. On the other hand, the Brazilian economy does not sufficiently distribute wealth, i.e. foster economic development, in communities that are plagued by poverty. Regrettably, the World Cup will likely do little to ease poverty in Brazil; however, it is a venue that can be used to draw the world’s attention to the issue. That said, a conscious effort on behalf of tourists to buy from small, local vendors and explore the vast Country while they are visiting can help the national economy.