Brazil - home of succulent carnival, many of the World's most beautiful people and one of the World's most vibrant cultures, will kick-off the 2014 FIFA World Cup in bustling Sao Paulo on Thursday. Brazil stands in the unique position to command World attention with hosting the World Cup this year and to follow it up with the hosting of the 2016 Summer Olympic games.
This is Brazil's grand shining moment - a time to showcase Brazil as a vibrant rising economic powerhouse connecting the Americas and linking the international community. Yet Brazil's host preparations and decisions have been plagued by construction overruns, delays, deaths and social protests. For the past year Brazilians have protested the excessive costs of hosting both the World Cup and the Olympics while domestic issues in respect to the lives and welfare of average Brazilians have been overlooked. Some protests are expected up to the eve, and on opening day on Thursday, of the World Cup because the Brazilian government has failed to fully rally its people behind the bigger picture of the intent and purpose of the games to showcase Brazil, its people, its culture; and to catapult Brazil onto its rightful place in the apex sphere of the international community.
The Metro strike that was suspended yesterday but still threatens Sao Paulo on World Cup opening day has to be solved. Dismissal letters to employees have to be reversed. The strong security forces in place to quell protests has to be redirected to anti terror purposes for World Cup participants, visitors and Brazilians. I will not speak of the ongoing infrastructural works needed to be completed nor will I speak of the delayed problem plagued monorail from Congonhas Airport connecting to three metro lines. However, I will encourage Brazil to shine and to put on a great World Cup; to look good and to give a good impression because past transgressions could easily be forgotten once the final product of a splendid, safe and successful World Cup is realized. Achieve the goooooooal Brazil!