2014 FIFA World Cup preparations

The costs of the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil were estimated to be the highest in the history of the FIFA World Cup.

Countdown before World Cup

Costs of the tournament totaled $11.6 billion,[1] making it the most expensive World Cup at the time.[2] It was surpassed by the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with costs estimated at $14.2 billion.[3] FIFA spent an estimated US$2 billion on staging the finals,[4] with its greatest single expense being the US$576 million prize money pot.[5] This expenditure was largely used for stadium renovation and other infrastructure projects. Brazil added on numerous construction projects to facilitate hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[6][7]

Host nation investmentEdit


Dilma Rousseff (2nd from the right) and Pelé (center) following the works in Belo Horizonte

Although the organisers originally estimated costs of US$1.1 billion,[8] a reported amount of US$3.6 billion was ultimately spent on stadium work.[9][10] Five of the chosen host cities built brand new venues specifically for the World Cup. The Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha stadium in the capital city Brasilia was demolished and rebuilt, while the remaining six were extensively renovated.[11] The Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, which already held the record attendance for a FIFA World Cup Finals match (199,854) was the largest of the stadiums and where the final was staged. The CBF was originally intended to host the opening match at São Paulo's Estádio do Morumbi but it was dropped in 2010 and replaced by the Arena Corinthians after failing to provide financial guarantees for the required improvements.[12]

The first totally new stadium, the Castelão, in Fortaleza, became operational in January 2013.[13] Six of the venues were used during the 2013 Confederations Cup.[14] However, six additional stadiums missed FIFA's original December 31, 2013 deadline for completed works.[15] The completion of the new Arena Corinthians was hindered by a fatal crane collapse in November 2013 that destroyed part of the stadium and killed two construction workers.[16] Slow progress at the Arena da Baixada site in Curitiba led to FIFA threatening to drop the stadium as a host venue in January 2014 unless significant progress was made during the following month;[17] after being satisfied of progress, FIFA confirmed that Curitiba would remain a host city.[18]

During the first three months of 2014, the first games were staged at the venues in Manaus[19] (Arena da Amazônia), Natal[20] and Porto Alegre.[21] However, following an inspection of all the venues in May 2014, FIFA Secretary Valcke expressed concerns about the readiness of the Natal, Porto Alegre and São Paulo venues, and required additional test events.[22] Brazil's Deputy Sports Minister, Luis Fernandes, responded by stating that there was "no panic".[23]

Infrastructure projectsEdit

Luz Station in Downtown São Paulo

In January 2010, Brazil's federal government estimated that staging the tournament would require a state investment of $11 billion.[24] It also announced tax breaks for the construction and refurbishment of the stadiums for the 2014 World Cup and that host cities would be exempt from VAT,[25] all expenditure by FIFA in Brazil also exempt from taxation.[26]

The Brazilian federal government earmarked R$3 billion (€1.8 billion, £1.1 billion) for investment in works relating to the 2014 World Cup, and intended to release a package of works, entitled the World Cup PAC (Portuguese acronym for Growth Acceleration Programme).[27] Brazil announced in March 2007 that there would be an additional PAC investment of 526 billion dollars allotted to infrastructure spanning from 2011 to 2014.[28] The airports in Brazil were identified as "the big problem" by the tournament's organizing committee.[29] Experts said that the airports needed a massive renovation and expansion in order to facilitate the influx of people arriving for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[30] An estimated 600,000 people traveled by plane to the tournament in addition to the three million passengers using flight to travel between matches.[31]

Legislation was introduced to enable the state's airport operator Infraero to speed up airport works.[32] Brazil's government had issues with upholding legislation with regard to infrastructure.[33] However, research by the Brazilian government in 2011 forecast that 10 of the 13 terminals to be upgraded were unlikely to be completed in time for the tournament.[34] Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff stated that the government would make "a strong intervention" to ensure that the airports were ready, including opening them up to private investment;[34] the management of three airports was auctioned off to the private sector in 2013 (earning $10.8 billion).[35]

Additional major infrastructure projects took place across the country on road systems and light rail and bus rapid transit lines that connected the airports to the city centres and stadiums. Over an estimated 4,300 km of highways were worked on.[36]

To host the increased number of tourists in the country, the Brazilian Development Bank(BNDES) provided a budget of R$2 billion to modernise and increase the country's hotel network.[37] In Rio de Janeiro, these developments were also in anticipation for the staging of the 2016 Summer Olympics.[38]

Many planned works such as new monorail systems in Manaus and São Paulo and a subway system in Belo Horizonte were, however, cancelled, while others were not expected to be finished before the tournament. Other projects proceeded, but only in a downsized scale.[39][40][41][42] In May 2014, it was reported that only 36 of the planned 93 major projects were completed.[43] FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke defended the state of progress, stating "it was clear from the beginning not all the projects would be ready... these projects were part of a government plan that goes far beyond the World Cup".[44] FIFA pledged to spend at least $20 million on "legacy projects" in Brazil following the tournament.[45] The failure to deliver all the originally planned projects was cited as a cause for criticism from some Brazilians against their government's investment in the tournament and their handling of the projects. An opinion poll by Datafolha two months before the start of the tournament found that only 48% of the respondents in Brazil supported the event, a decline from the 79% approval rating it was given in 2008.[46] 55% of respondents said that they believed the event would bring more harm than good to Brazilians.[47] FIFA President Sepp Blatter admitted "Brazilians are a bit discontented because they were promised a lot".[47]

Former Brazilian footballer Romário, now a political figure, criticised his country's handling of these preparations but said that "FIFA's requirements were excessive".[48] Another former Brazilian player, Ronaldo, said he felt "embarrassed" about the state of the country's infrastructure and how "a series of investments were promised that won't be delivered - only 30% percent will be delivered".[49]

A group of German economists said at the time that it was an economic luxury to host a sports event of this size in a newly industrialized country like Brazil or Russia. They suggested at least two measures to make such events sustainable: first, build less. And second, the organizing associations should have participated in the finance the sports venues. The large stadiums and streets were not used any more after the event. The effect was especially disastrous if the relation of investments compared to the assets is as low as in Brazil, and the event drains most of the total money spent. As a consequence, they fear that Olympic games and football world championships will only be hosted in countries with authoritarian regimes.[50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57]

Security measuresEdit

The Brazilian government pledged $900 million into security forces and that the tournament would be "one of the most protected sports events in history".[58] It planned to have one police officer for every 50 people attending matches, and one for every 80 people at public viewing events around the country.[58]

Investment in security measures such as facial recognition systems and unmanned security robots has already been made.[59] An integrated security plan has been developed that seeks to gain information from sources about potential terrorists, troublemakers and hooligans.[60] A total of 150,000 public security professionals and military will ensure World Cup security, along with 20,000 private security personnel.[61]

Security concerns for the tournament increased after large-scale protests occurred during Brazil's staging of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, with disturbances also occurring outside the stadiums.[62][5] Protesters cited the amount of public money being invested by the Brazilian government in the hosting of the World Cup at the expense of social services for its population as a key grievance.[63][64][65]

The Human CostEdit

While the projected cost to the government is currently estimated at 14 billion dollars to stage[66] and prepare for the World Cup in many ways, there are many other costs to think about when approaching such a heavy-loaded topic such as the 2014 World Cup. To produce an event of this magnitude, many sacrifices must be made when deciding where and how to go about creating these venues that will eventually be on the world's stage.

In order to create space for these events certain choices had to be made, as to where the infrastructure would be located in order to support the stadium itself. Certain concessions had to be made in order to effectively place these venues where both FIFA and the government felt was the most effective place for them to be. Because of this decision in May 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil indigenous protesters clashed with police on horseback during a protest of the World Cup which ended with one policeman shot in the leg and in response the police fired tear gas into the crowd and dispersed the protest.[67]

In a separate but similar example police evicted an indigenous population of between 10 and 20 different ethnicities next to the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro in order to prepare for the upcoming "Mega Event".[67][68] These residents were living informally in the abandoned Brazilian Indian Museum in the heart of Rio, however it had become a known fact and for the time leading up the evictions the residence were allowed to live in the location in peace. However, when the Event was announced the police eviction was violent and abrupt. Later it was discovered that these evictions were carried out in order to make room for a new parking garage for the stadium.

In the past decade more than 500 indigenous people have been killed[69] as a response of increased indigenous activism and an increased call for rights by these populations. Of course not all of these deaths are a direct result of the World Cup specifically; however, there has been increased violence between the police and these populations, which has added to the tensions between these two populations and promoted violence.

Many other issues involving indigenous population have surfaced as a result of the World Cup including issues between the energy farmers and the indigenous populations over control of specific waterways of the Amazon.[69][70] Many of these waterways are being dammed up in order to generate power for these events, which then closer these vital waterways for these populations. As a result many tribes have begun protests including farm and construction site takeovers in order to stop construction, however, this has just prompted many other violent clashes between these tribes and both police and farmers trying to protect their livelihood.

FIFA investmentEdit

FIFA forecasted it would spend $2 billion on staging the 2014 World Cup Finals.[7]


Costs of latest WCs[disputed ][71][72][73][74]
Host General cost
  RUS (2018) US$14.2 billion[75]
  BRA (2014) US$11.6 billion[76]
  GER (2006) $6 billion
  KOR/  JPN (2002) $5 billion
  ITA (1990) $5 billion [77]
  SAF (2010) $4 billion
  FRA (1998) $340 million
  USA (1994) $30 million

See alsoEdit


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