With great soccer comes a great price

Keshav Amaro, Eastside Opinions Editor

The FIFA World Cup this year brought plenty of action-packed soccer games along with an abundance of singing, cheering, Powerade and fake injuries. Brazil is known to be a colorful, carnival-esque and beach playground. Soccer is one of world’s most cherished sports especially in Brazil, but also proves to be one of the most problematic logistically, politically and climatically.

As the players focused on playing and winning their games, the host city, Rio de Janerio struggled as they tried to cope with all of the rioting, famine and protest occurring just outside the walls of their own stadiums. In creating the new infrastructure including the Estádio do Maracanã stadium and the road leading to it forced over 250,000 families across Brazil to be kicked out of their own homes or threatened with eviction. There was famine, panic and outrage during the World Cup for many others who found that they were evicted for construction projects that would not even be finished until the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

“The government didn’t want to negotiate,” stated Marli, a favela resident of Rio. “There was one public meeting and then the official said we had five days to leave.”

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in Moscow, Russia. Similar to Brazil, the country does not have the stadiums or infrastructure to host this big of an event in one city. Stadiums like the ones used in Rio de Janeiro take years to build and tons of manpower. The main stadium that the Russians were building was previously planned to be finished in 2008, but due to inadequate funding and construction costs, it is now set to be finished in 2016.

That stadium will only be a small part of what needs to be built in Moscow. Estimated costs to build everything needed for the next world cup rise to about £12.2 billion (about $16,499,306,893.87), double the cost of the Brazil world cup, and this number could very well rise. Many critics are worried and state that it is very possible that the cost will push Russia into bankruptcy. On the bright side, contrary to popular belief, the weather will not be too cold. In the summer months, Moscow is mildly warm, so players and fans should take comfort.

Nonetheless, the United States has watched the 2014 World Cup more than any other previous World Cup in the past, and it was well worth the watch. There were tons of disbeliefs, such as the 7-1 crushing victory for Germany against host team Brazil. Lionel Messi begrudgingly accepting the Player of the Tournament award after his team, Argentina, lost in the final. And the major penalty of all, Lui Suarez and his continuous biting spree. Rumors of this talented soccer player spin with a mental health instabilities. In fact, Ian Steadman of NewStatesman calculated that you are more likely to be bit by Lui Suarez than you are a shark. But nonetheless, a player biting another player seems to be the least of any soccer fan’s worries regarding the future of the World Cup.

Sometimes, host countries can have extreme weather conditions, which is where the problem lies for the 2022 World Cup in the State of Qatar. It is a small country bordering Saudi Arabia. And it is the first time an Arab country has received the honor of hosting the world cup, but the controversy lies in the heat.

This year for the first time ever, the city of Rio called for a couple cooling breaks due to the extreme temperatures. The temperatures were so hot, that players and fans alike complained of the conditions. A cooling break was then implemented that could be called for the players if it was over 89.6°F, and is now mandatory during games. A Brazilian court ruled that if cooling breaks are not called during their matches, FIFA will be fined $90,000. But in Qatar, temperatures are expected to be a minimum 90°F in the summer months and can get as high as 105°F. Estimated costs are high as well, but the heat will be the main issue. The government of Qatar claims that they will have new technology to deal with the heat and ensure that players are not playing in life threatening conditions.

The victors of 2014 FIFA World Cup were the four time champion team of Germany. To the millions of die-hard soccer fans around the world, the obstacles surrounding the sport are well worth the risks.