Sweetness And LightSweetness And Light The Score On Sports With Frank Deford

Go Ahead, Host A Giant Sports Spectacular. But It Will Cost You

In a recent Pew Reseach Center poll, 61 percent of Brazilians said hosting the World Cup, which begins Wednesday in Sao Paulo, is bad for the country, because it has diverted money from public services. i i

In a recent Pew Reseach Center poll, 61 percent of Brazilians said hosting the World Cup, which begins Wednesday in Sao Paulo, is bad for the country, because it has diverted money from public services. Nelson Almeida /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Nelson Almeida /AFP/Getty Images
In a recent Pew Reseach Center poll, 61 percent of Brazilians said hosting the World Cup, which begins Wednesday in Sao Paulo, is bad for the country, because it has diverted money from public services.

In a recent Pew Reseach Center poll, 61 percent of Brazilians said hosting the World Cup, which begins Wednesday in Sao Paulo, is bad for the country, because it has diverted money from public services.

Nelson Almeida /AFP/Getty Images

Wednesday welcomes the year's second global sports extravaganza, as the World Cup begins. Just a few months ago, we worried that terrorists would invade the Russian Olympics. Now we wait to see if riots will tarnish the Brazilian World Cup.

The organizations that run the two events are similar, in that they manage to get cities and countries the earth over to do their bidding at exorbitant costs. Both the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, the Federation Internationale de Football Association, are arrogant and pretty much operate above sensible guidelines that governments otherwise demand of organizations.

Without soccer as its calling card, the IOC must take the high road –– as in high and mighty. It self-righteously sells sport as spiritual. It's dumping its big tent on Rio in two years, so if the World Cup doesn't bring the nation to economic despair, the Olympics will.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on the issue.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Sweetness And LightSweetness And Light The Score On Sports With Frank Deford