By Jimbo Thomas
The 2014 World Cup maybe some way off yet, indeed we have yet to witness the 2010 version in South Africa. Nevertheless, even though some 5 years away there is already a world cup buzz in Brazil.
The 2014 venues have recently been chosen, they are as follows:
As with all selection processes there are winners and losers, the winners are, the capital, Brasilia (no shock there), naturally too, Rio and Sao Paulo are selected. Belo Horizonte gets some of the games as does Porto Alegre, Curitiba in the south and Cuiaba in Central Brazil.
The north-east has done very well, with 3 cities chosen, Salvador, Recife/Olinda and Fortaleza. The Amazon region too has been selected (would have been an uproar if it hadn't) . There were only 2 possible venues, Belem or Manaus, the latter prevailed leaving the city of Belem very disappointed.
2 of the 3 north-eastern world cup venues have something extra to smile about, as Recife and Salvador get new stadiums (currently being built). All other venues will use existing stadia with extensive modernisations and improvements.
The official announcement citing the selected cities caused ripples of regional excitement as of course, hosting the world cup affords great opportunities for regeneration, notwithstanding more jobs and more investment. There is however a price to pay, such as state and local governments have to organize everything and ensure they meet the guarantees the Brazilian Federal Government have given FIFA.
Everyone is excited, but nervous too, as all Brazilian's know the spotlight will be on them not only in terms of footballing pressure but other pressure factors too, such as; social and economic.
Brazilian's are very conscious of the world's eyes staring at them and will want to put on a show (and paper over any cracks too) - and I fully expect a treat come 2014 from the country of soccer [http://brazilwithoutborders.com/index.html] and samba.
One of the best sites in English, for Brazilian football is this Brazilian Soccer Site [http://brazilwithoutborders.com/worldcup2014.html] There are weekly football previews there too in addition to 2014 world cup updates.
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