Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rio Stadium Work Begins, But Still Behind Schedule

Six months behind schedule and in danger of being removed from the list of World Cup host stadia, Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium has finally entered its renovation stage.

The work, budgeted at 705.6 million reais ($398 million) started with the removal of the seats in the lower ring of the stands in the stadium, the likely venue for the final.

Renovations will see the stadium's capacity reduced by more than half to 45,000 for the next 50 days and then closed.

The work is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2012, in time to stage the Confederations Cup in Rio the following year.

Maracana work for 2014 World Cup gets underway late
August 25, 2010

Manchester Argues its Case to Play World Cup Host

This piece runs down the reasons why Manchester should be one of the World Cup host cities should England be selected to host the event in either 2018 or 2022.

11: The city has two fantastic stadiums already in place, underlining the fact that England already has the facilities to host the 2018 tournament – unlike Russia.

12: There is no need to worry about the transport links either. Manchester Airport is the busiest in the county outside London in terms of passenger numbers.

13: And on the ground, Old Trafford is well served by both train and tram, while the Metrolink will be extended to Eastlands long before 2018.

14: In addition, Manchester is at the heart of the country’s motorway network, so it’s easy to get around.

15: The city’s sporting and transport infrastructure is one of the main reasons FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes it would be, in his words, “easy” to host the World Cup in England.

99 reasons why we should host the World Cup
Manchester Evening News
August 25, 2010

Critic Blasts Russia's World Cup Bid

Only two of the 13 proposed host cities in Russia have the adequate infrastructure to host such an event, according to Russian sports expert Yury Ivanov. He calls the bid a big waste of money, and largely at the whim of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The sports expert says that one can compare Russia’s situation with South Africa’s in the run-up to the world cup this year. Pretoria spent some three billion dollars to get ready, Ivanov says, but “Russia’s expenses, considering all [its] problems with corruption will be one and a half times greater.”

The idea of pursuing the world cup, the writer says, “according to rumors belongs to Vladimir Putin,” and that explains why “the tactics of the struggle of the Russian Football Union … repeat the pattern of the struggle for the Olympiad in Sochi: Everything is being build on the basis of the personal guarantees of the prime minister.”

Putin’s Pursuit of Sports Glory Busting Russia’s Budget
Georgian Daily
August 23, 2010

The Preparation Challenge for Brazil

As Brazil prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, much sport-related work is underway. But beyond the fields and venues, the country has major infrastructure, transportation and safety issues to address.

About 60 percent of the sports venues are already completed because Brazil hosted the 2007 Pan American Games and -- with an eye toward capturing the big prize -- built those facilities to Olympics specs.

But billions of dollars of sports-driven projects from port renovation and airport overhauls to the construction of major highways, transit systems, stadiums and an Olympic Village complete with a beach are planned. Besides accommodating the influx of fans, athletes and officials, the goal is to leave a lasting legacy for Brazilians.

Brazil getting extreme makeover in preparation for Olympics
The Miami Herald

Russia Needs to Start Stadium Work Now for 2018

FIFA inspectors who were visiting Russia to review the country's bid for the 2018/2022 World Cup have warned officials there that they'll need to push harder to get their proposed stadia built in time for the event, should Russia be chosen to host.

Russia's bid proposes 14 new stadiums in 13 cities and a massive overhaul of the national infrastructure as part of its bid, making it the most ambitious and expensive competitor for the 2018 tournament.

Inspection team leader Harold Mayne-Nicholls said work would have to start immediately. "I would like to emphasise that, in the case the Fifa Executive Committee decides in December that the World Cup will go for the first time in football history to Russia, work would need to start immediately, to guarantee that everything will be in place right in time."

Fifa warns Russia over rush to meet 2018 World Cup building deadlines
The Telegraph
August 19, 2010

Sochi: Hard at Work

With many major infrastructure projects underpinning its hosting duties for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Russian city of Sochi is hard at work transforming itself into an international sporting area.

It means the construction of a new winter community in the North Caucasus mountains, the construction of 300 kilometres of roads, 100km of rail, 39 tunnels and 24 thermal and hydro power stations.

"We are well on track," asserts Mr Chernyshenko, a native of Sochi who was handed the games' baton five years ago.

"Our construction site is now probably competing in terms of size with London's," he says.

Sochi games boss in 2014 Olympic marathon
August 19, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brazil's Long-Term Benefits

A new study out has examined the investments Brazil is making in infrastructure ahead of the 2014 World Cup and how those investments can turn into long term benefits for the country.

This summer, Ernst & Young and the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) set out to provide answers to such questions. In late June, the two organizations released a sixth installment of their Sustainable Brazil series, entitled “Social and Economic Impacts of the 2014 World Cup”.

The study includes analysis of the socioeconomic impacts of the World Cup and how to make the World Cup “greener,” and it aims to identify ways in which Brazil can ensure that “the event lasts not only a few days, but many years, leaving a positive legacy for society as a whole.” It’s an issue that TheCityFix has explored before, when we considered the legacy of the Olympics. The recent Brazil study predicts that the country’s economy will “snowball,” growing by more than five times the R$22.46 billion (US$12.8 billion) spent by Brazil to ensure adequate infrastructure and organization.

This means that in total, from 2010 to 2014, an additional R$142.39 billion (US$81.39 billion) will flow in Brazil, creating 3.63 million jobs per year, and R$63 billion (US$36 billion) in additional income for the population.

Brazil’s Green World Cup
The City Fix
August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

London Officials Eye Olympic 'Landmarks'

Officials in London are already calling the city's Olympic venues "landmarks" for the city.

Indeed, organizers are enthusiastically trumpeting their projections that the 9.3 billion pound ($15.2 billion) Olympic project is both on schedule and on budget.

Granted, original financial estimates almost tripled shortly after London was awarded the Games in 2005, beating out Paris and New York, among others. And once the budget was set, the global economy went into the loo, ensuring that finances would match logistics among the massive challenges to creating a successful Games in a city so old, complex and densely populated.

Though London will be the first city to play host to a Summer Games for a third time, it has been a while and the first time the city truly won a bid to do so.

London landmarks for 2012 Games
The Toronto Sun
August 14, 2010

London Seeks to Host Gay Games in 2018

London is hoping to parlay its hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympics into a second event, the 2018 Gay Games.

“In my role as Minister for Sport and the Olympics, I am the person responsible for Olympic legacy. Providing a sporting legacy from the 2012 Games is my top priority. We are committed to provide a lasting legacy for athletics. It is vital that we use the 2012 Games to get more people involved in sport and to ensure that our elite athletes are receiving the best possible opportunities and we are working closely with our partners to achieve this goal,” [said Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and the Olympics from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport]

London bids to host official Gay Games 2018
August 13, 2010

Huge Costs Expected for Russia's 2014 Olympics

Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics could end up costing nearly £20 billion (~$31 billion USD), which some residents see as a waste of money. Much of the high cost is due to large infrastructure projects, such as a tunnel road that's expected to cost roughly $7.8 billion.

With four years still to go, that figure will dwarf overall spend for Canada's Vancouver Olympics of about £3.5bn.

The 2014 Games in Sochi, on Russia's southwestern coast, are already dogged by massive controversy and allegations of corruption.

Many homes are in the process of being demolished to make way for the six-stadia Olympic Park.

Russia Pays High Price For Winter Olympics
Sky News
August 11, 2010

Brazil's Infrastructure Ranks Low

A new report blasts Brazil's infrastructure as some of the worst in the world.

“We spent decades without making investments and that led to growing problems now showing in the current state of our infrastructure,” LCA Consultores chief economist Braulio Borges, who authored the study, said.

Port infrastructure was responsible for Brazil’s appearing at the bottom of the list with an alarming 2.6 points, wide apart from the 4.2 world average. In railroad quality, Brazil’s 1.8 points were ranked only better than Colombia’s. World average railroad quality was 3.1 points.

Brazil faring poorly in infrastructure quality
Buenos Aires Herald
August 14, 2010

Brazilian Airport Updates Behind Schedule

Work has been slow to complete on Brazil's airports, which officials have pledged to update ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Local authorities and tournament organizers have acknowledged that the airports' lack of capacity is one of the main concerns in Brazil's preparations and that significant improvements are needed to accommodate the expected 600,000 World Cup visitors.

A recent report by a government watchdog known as the Brazilian Audit Court warned that renovations in some airports may not be completed by 2014.

Brazil yet to start work on most World Cup airports
August 13, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2018/2022 Bids: Where They Stand

The Financial Times runs down the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and assesses the chances of each country winning. Though the bidding process for 2026 hasn't even begun yet, China's recently stated interest in hosting that year's event could play a role in determining the host of the 2022 tournament. Both the 2018 and 2022 hosts will be announced on December 2, 2010.

For now, though, insiders are tipping Russia for 2018. Fifa delights in tapping new markets through World Cups. Russia is a white spot on Europe’s footballing map. It has never hosted a major football tournament. Crucially, it can muster more lobbying might than its rivals. When Vladimir Putin phones asking for your support, you probably say yes. A Russian World Cup would cost a lot, but if Putin wants to spend the money, Russia will.

As for the 2022 World Cup, the most important words spoken in this race came from a country that isn’t even bidding. Wei Di, new head of China’s football federation, said this month: “I think China should apply for the World Cup [of 2026].”

China’s government will make the decision, not Wei Di. But Fifa would love China to bid. If the country signals it will, that would shape the race for 2022. If China gets 2026, no Asian country could stage 2022, because continents cannot host twice running. The only non-Asian bidder for 2022 is the US. So if China wants to bid, the US would surely get 2022.

Cold war rivals vie to stage football’s big event
The Financial Times
July 30, 2010

A Look at Qatar's Bid for the 2022 World Cup, and its Potential Impact

The potential for nation-building is one of the strong attractors of Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup, according to this piece from the Huffington Post. THe piece looks at the country's bid and some of the proposed stadia it seeks to build for the event. One interesting note is that Qatar's bid, in contrast to far-reaching bids of nations like the U.S., makes plans for all stadia to be within about an hour's drive of one another.

They have demonstrated their ability to host large events with the success of the Asian Games held in Doha in 2006. With no shortage of money to devote to construction, the key focus of their promotional bid video is their five proposed new stadia. Each is designed by Albert Speer & Partner, a firm with a history of working at more intrepid scales in the Middle East than at home in Germany.

For a region not shy of symbolism, it might be no surprise that a familiar list of metaphors weighs the proposal down: the dhow fishing boat (Al Shamal Stadium); the seashell (Al Khor Stadium); the national flag (Al Gharafa Stadium); and the oasis (Al Wakrah Stadium), which might also make up for the sole missing metaphor, the pearl, in the form of a spherical glass dome.

Qatar's Bid for World Cup 2022: To Build a Nation or a Region?
Huffington Post
August 2, 2010

Infrastructure Brazil's Limiting Factor for Foreign Investment

Infrastructure tops the list of concerns for business people considering investing in Brazil, according to a new report. Transportation is an especially sore spot for the country as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

This is an excerpt of a new report from UK-based bank HSBC, Brazil unbound: How investors see Brazil and Brazil sees the World.

In our survey, nearly one half of respondents (49%) point to “low standard or costly infrastructure including telephones, transport networks and utilities” as the main operational obstacle, far more than selected corruption, poor governance (34 percent) or skills shortages (32 percent), the state of transport infrastructure is particularly dire. In spite of some improvement in logistics, freight depends on costly road haulage; there are few railroads; the potential for waterways remains largely unexplored; and ports and airports are congested. This can add one quarter or more to the cost of getting goods to market, say investors.

Investing in infrastructure has been at the heart of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s growth program (the so-called PAC, launched in 2007), but progress has been limited. Fewer than half of the targets for 2010 have been met (with much of the proposed financing going to first-time home owners, rather than into physical infrastructure). High public spending commitments are crowding out the paltry 1 percent of GDP that is proposed for investment in infrastructure, while limited private sector investment in transport will not make up the shortfall.

Brazil: Shaky Infrastructure
Latin Business Chronicle
August 2, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Amazon Bridge Opens Opportunities, Poses Threats

A new bridge being constructed over the Amazon River near the northern Brazilian city of Manaus is seen as an opportunity to expand the region's economic viability and connectivity with the rest of the country, but also a threat to the neighboring rainforest. Manaus is one of the 12 cities hosting the 2014 World Cup.

The bridge - the first on the world's greatest river system - symbolises the surging development at the heart of the world's largest rainforest and will bring much-needed economic opportunities for those living on the far bank. But environmentalists fear that the bridge, combined with new gas pipelines, roads and rising populations, could open up the rainforest to further destruction.

Manaus is the steamy and sprawling industrial capital of the vast Amazonas state, manufacturing the latest flatscreen TVs and mobile phones for the whole of Brazil. It has been an island of wealth for 200 years, but it is now opening up in all directions.

The bridge runs from north to south, to the undeveloped towns of Iranduba, Manacapuru and Novo Airão and towards the untouched jungle. To the west, a 600km gas pipeline will next month begin powering a huge new electricity power station by bringing energy from a pristine part of the forest at Urucu into the city.

First Amazon bridge to open world's greatest rainforest to development
The Guardian via Environment South Africa
July 29, 2010

Africa Must Wait 20 Years for Olympics, Says IOC Official

An official with the International Olympic Committee says it's unlikely an African city will host the Olympics within the next 20 years. South African officials have announced their intentions to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics following the successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup.

“There is a huge amount of work to be done besides political desire, hence the experts’ view that any realistic chance for (hosting the) Olympics in Africa is between 2030 and 2040,” said Nawal El Moutawakel, who chaired the IOC’s coordinating committee for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.

“I have read studies by some universities specialising in the Olympics who gave Africa between 2030 and 2040 to host the Games and that is a very realistic chance because Olympics is a different ball game,” she said.

Africa must wait 20 years for Olympics
Reuters via Zimbabwe Independent
July 29, 2010

Sochi Corruption Investigation Seen As Stunt

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an official corruption investigation over alleged bribes related to construction in Sochi ahead of the city's 2014 Winter Olympics. Many is Russia view the investigation as a fluff effort to try to convince people that the government is acting against corruption.

The Novaya Gazeta story focuses on Vladimir Leshchevsky, deputy of construction in the Kremlin's Office of Presidential Affairs – a vast empire that owns about $500 billion worth of former Soviet Communist Party property. It alleges that he took about $5.7 million in kickbacks from the Moskonversprom consortium of construction companies in connection with the renovation of two Kremlin-owned Sochi area sanitoriums.

"To really fight corruption he would have to fire [Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin, who is at the center of the Sochi Olympic scandal, but that's not going to happen," says Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and a leader of the liberal opposition who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Sochi in polls last year that some criticized as Kremlin-manipulated. "So he orders an investigation of Leshchevsky, a nobody. It's just a PR action."

Medvedev orders corruption investigation into Putin's Sochi Olympics
The Christian Science Monitor
July 29, 2010

Mixed Use Coming to London's East End via Ikea

Swedish furniture corporation Ikea is building a 1,500-unit mixed use development near the Olympic village in London's East End.

it is here, at Sugar House Lane in Stratford, that Inter Ikea, the investment and construction arm of the Swedish furniture giant, has bought a 13-acre site. Within the next few years, Inter Ikea will have built a mixed-use development consisting of office and retail space as well as lots of Ikea housing – some 1,500 units or so – and it has already started working on a master plan for the site.

Peter Andrews, the chief executive of the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC) , says that he fully expects it to become "a Covent Garden in the East End". A retail, housing and leisure hub abutting the Olympic Park, this Ikea village will be one of the things making the new East End a place in which people will be proud to live, as well as a tourist destination to die for.

Home Swede home: A new 'village' on the 2012 Olympics site is to be designed by Ikea
The Independent
July 30, 2010

London Bike Sharing System Opens

A new bike sharing system has begun its first phase of operations in London. The effort is part of a plan to increase cycling in the city and to ease transportation throughout the city during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The initiative, which follows similar projects in cities including Paris and Montreal, aims to ease overcrowding on London's commuter network, with 400 bicycle "docking stations" from Notting Hill in the west to the Tower of London in the east.

"The new system could transform the way Londoners as well as tourists navigate the city," said a spokesman for Transport for London (TFL), the capital's main travel authority.

Nicknamed "Boris's Bikes" after cycle-mad Mayor Boris Johnson, the system is free for the first half hour, although the rate rises steeply if the cycles are used for longer periods, with a maximum daily charge of 50 pounds ($78).

Hire scheme aims to get Londoners on bikes
July 29, 2010

Special Olympic Lanes Cause Worry About Traffic During 2012 Olympics

Special lanes will be closed to public traffic during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Some commuters are already worried about the traffic congestion likely to pervade throughout the city during the event.

The 60 miles of lanes will be in addition to the Olympic Route Network (ORN) which will be roadwork-free and cover 2.5% of the capital's roads.

The ORN will be used by 82,000 people and cost about £25m.

The lanes will total nearly 60 miles in length, while the ORN, which will include measures such as closing side roads, banning turns and altering traffic light sequences, will comprise of more than 100 miles in London and about 170 miles outside London.

Games Lanes' for athletes at 2012 London Olympics
July 29, 2010

Brazil 'On Track' In Face of 2014 World Cup Deadlines

Despite some concerns about stadium readiness, officials in Brazil claim that the country's infrastructure and preparations are on track to meet deadlines for the 2014 World Cup.

Brazil, like South Africa, will use the quadrennial soccer championship to remake the physical infrastructure of the country, investing almost $19 billion in projects in the 12 host cities. Silva said $6.5 billion would be spent to upgrade public transportation, with $3.1 billion to be spent on airports. The federal government will pay for 70 percent of the total investment, with provincial and municipal governments covering another 8 percent.

“The World Cup is a national project,” he said. “This makes preparing for the World Cup somewhat complex.”

Brazil on Track for 2014 Despite Early Criticism of Stadium Plan
The New York Times
July 28, 2010

Airport Capacity a Concern in Brazil Ahead of 2014

A new report warns that Brazil's airport capacity is too low to handle the expected 146 million travelers entering the country by 2014. Airport expansion is one of the priorities of the government ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

For years, infrastructure bottlenecks have been one of Brazil's biggest problems as growing auto sales and airline travel, along with a furious expansion in commodities industries, have put strains on ports, highways and airports.

Brazil is already under fire for being behind on construction of stadiums and other World Cup infrastructure.

A report by the consulting firm McKinsey and Co said at the close of 2009, seven of Brazil's 20 principal airports were struggling with overcrowding in both passenger areas and plane berths that frequently led to delays or canceled flights.

Brazil airport capacity lags as World Cup looms
Reuters via Fox News
July 27, 2010

Favela Clearance and Renovation Planned in Rio

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes has announced a broad plan to clear and clean up some of the city's favelas. The dirt road slums would be replaced with paved roads, properly built homes connected to water and electricity -- a project expected to take roughly 10 years.

The plan would affect over 260,000 households and would cost over $4.5bn (£2.9bn), Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said.

Hundreds of Rio's favelas will be re-built and 123 of the most "at risk" slums will be torn down.

Approximately 13,000 families in the 123 areas to be cleared would be relocated, Mr Paes said.

Rio plans to clear slums ahead of 2016 Olympic Games
July 27, 2010

Logistical Challenges Create Harsh Reality for Brazil's 2014 World Cup

Brazil is deep in its preparations for the 2014 World Cup. But logistical challenges -- like the amount of hotel rooms in smaller host cities -- remain unsolved.

But holding a World Cup spread out over 12 cities in a continent-sized country will be anything but easy with challenges that include renovating and building stadiums, adhering to World Cup standards and making sure airports around the country are ready to handle the volume of fans, athletes and officials expected for the Copa Mundial.

Some host cities, such as Manaus in the Amazon, have a serious shortage of hotel rooms.

It will be the first World Cup held in Brazil since 1950 and the first in South America since Argentina hosted the event in 1978. In the intervening years, the scope of the event has changed tremendously.

Read more:

For next World Cup, Brazil gets the ball rolling
The Miami Herald
July 26, 2010

East End Regeneration in Question as Economy Worsens

Regenerating London's East End has been a major element of the city's 2012 Olympic plans. But with tight economic times, some worry that the $14.3 billion Summer Olympics will distract too much money away from the troubled neighborhood.

"The most enduring legacy," Britain promised in the bid, would be "the regeneration of an entire community for the direct benefit of everyone who lives there."

Yet while building progresses on schedule in the future Olympic Park—Europe's biggest construction site and one of the biggest regeneration projects in British history—locals fear the broad urban renewal so central to the bid could become a lesser priority. Since winning the right to stage the Games five years ago, London has gone through a deep recession and a collapse in the real-estate market that hasn't spared the Olympics. Private funding that was supposed to help pay for the athletes' village, for instance, couldn't be found, saddling the public purse with the entire construction cost.

East London Hopes for an Olympic Revival
The Wall Street Journal
July 27, 2010

West Ham Closer to Locking Down Olympic Stadium as Future Home

West Ham, a team in the English Premier League, is hoping to lock down a commitment to move their home field to the newly constructed Olympic Stadium in London after the 2012 Olympics are over.

The Premier League club believe switching home grounds will cost them £125 million and have asked the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), who are responsible for the future of the London 2012 venues, for a six-month "lock-out" to hold exclusive talks on the deal.

And, two years before the Olympics start, Brady said: "We'll hear by the end of the month whether we've got it [the lock-out deal].

London 2012 Olympics: West Ham confident over stadium deal
July 27, 2010

Concern and Hope for 2012's Legacy in London

With two years to go before London opens its 2012 Summer Olympics, some locals are wary about the costs and uncertain about the benefits. Sebastian Coe, London organizing committee president, argues the Games will create long-term benefits for the city and the nation.

Organizers also expect to use all of London's majestic sites as telegenic backdrops. The marathon course will take runners past Buckingham Palace and cyclists will race past Trafalgar Square. Wimbledon and its famed Centre Court will stage tennis matches.

But these Olympics aren't only about sending pretty pictures around the world, Coe said, or about providing the best atmosphere for athletes.

His vision is broader.

"The greatest driver of social cohesion in most of our communities is sport," Coe said. "The way the Games have galvanized communities the length and breadth of the country is extraordinary."

Two years before the London Olympics, the focus is global . . . and local
Los Angeles Times
July 26, 2010

London's Olympics A Sporting Catalyst for Couch Potatoes?

London's 2012 Olympics are looked upon as a n opportunity to regenerate part of the city -- and to inspire a new generation of physically active Londoners. Some doubt that sports-centric goal can be met.

Britain's much-trumpeted Olympic legacy following the 2012 Games could amount to little more than the regeneration of a small pocket of east London. With just two years to go before the £9bn Olympic Games become the focus of world attention, questions are being asked about whether they will be able to persuade a nation of couch potatoes to put down the remote and pull on their trainers or trunks.

Despite venue and stadium construction being on budget and ahead of schedule, officials have admitted that there is a "big gap" in plans to increase nationwide participation on the back of the event. Promises of an Olympic legacy were central to London's winning the bid in 2005. The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, said yesterday that there was no specific funding set aside for the Games to be used as a catalyst for a surge in sports participation.

What are we getting out of the Olympic Games?
The Independent
July 25, 2010

Sochi's $6 Billion Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are expected to cost more than $6 billion, according to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. Of that, roughly $2.9 billion will be provided by the government.

Re-settlement of town residents whose houses are to be demolished and lands withdrawn during construction works will cost an extra 12 billion rubles (395.6 million dollars).

He added this was only a preliminary estimation at the moment, as "a great number" of problems remains in place, including customs and border control issues.

Sochi Olympics may cost 6 bln U.S. dollars: official
July 23, 2010

South Africa's World Cup Challenges As Lessons for Brazil 2014

This review of South Africa's World Cup looks at a few key operational challenges faced by the country and how those challenges can inform Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup. Areas of review include FIFA, the Local Organizing Committee, the stadia, and transportation.

Given its geography and state of development, Brazil will face many of the same challenges as South Africa. One way of counteracting the huge distances involved would be to base group games in clusters of local cities; that way the ludicrous distances faced by some teams in South Africa would be shortened. FIFA's Jerome Valcke has already said the plan is to divide Brazil's 12 host cities into four regions to reduce travel times for fans. Closer scrutiny by FIFA of promised transport improvements would be beneficial for all. Earlier this month, LOC chairman Teixiera described Brazil’s problems as “airports, airports, airports". The $5.5billion President Lula this week promised to improve them will help, but FIFA needs to make sure the Brazilian government deliver.

Analysis - What Brazil 2014 World Cup Organizers can Learn From South Africa
World Football Insider
July 23, 2010