Germany triumphant, but Brazil's hangover is just beginning | Asia Pacific

Germany triumphant, but Brazil's hangover is just beginning

Germany triumphant, but Brazil's hangover is just beginning

Updated 14 July 2014, 11:53 AEST

While Germany celebrates its World Cup victory, Brazil is counting its losses on and off the field.

The host country's exit from the tournament devastated fans, and there's criticism the World Cup bid didn't deliver the one million jobs that Brazil promised.

Now there's warnings about Brazil's readiness for hosting the 2016 Olympic Games.

Correspondent: Ben Knight

Speakers: Chris Gaffney, Rio de Janeiro's Fluminense University; Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee President

BEN KNIGHT: So the World Cup party is over but for the hosts, the hangover has already set in.

Actually to describe the mood of a post-world cup Brazil as "a hangover" isn't really accurate. At least with a hangover, you have a rough idea of when you'll start to feel better.

And it's hard to get any sense of that in Brazil.

(Brazilian fan speaking)

As this fan puts it - the dream has come to an end. The party is over, the happiness is over.

The humiliation of the Brazilian national team was more painful than anyone could have predicted.

This was a country - and a government - that were desperately hoping for footballing success to lift people's spirits when the time comes to face Brazil's deep, deep problems the day after the World Cup moves on.

Instead, the mood is dark and depressed. This event was supposed to be Brazil's coming of age - the time when the country that has lifted tens of millions of its people out of poverty, announced its arrival as a modern economic power. Instead, just at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi did, it's laid bare the gulf between Brazil's dreams and reality.

Brazil can take pride in the fact that this World Cup was seemingly well run. No security scares, no stadium collapse, no major crises with ticketing or transport.

But it's relative. More than a dozen workers died in the rush to finish the grounds, three more people were killed during the Cup itself - one when a monorail line fell down, another when an overpass collapsed.

The country's famous spirit of jeitinho - of improvising solutions, and finding a way through - just didn't cut it with an event like this.

Many of the infrastructure projects that were supposed to be the payoff for the $13 billion World Cup budget are unfinished, and in some cases, unstarted. Some never will begin.

So what does Brazil get for all of those billions of dollar invested in the World Cup? Well, the government claims a million jobs.

But Chris Gaffney, who studies major events at Rio de Janeiro's Fluminense University, told Voice of America the figures are exaggerated.

CHRIS GAFFNEY: I don't think that they've invested enough money to create those kinds of permanent jobs. I mean, in the scale of the Brazilian economy we're not looking at actually that much money being invested. So it's $30 billion in a $1 trillion economy.

BEN KNIGHT: It's just over two years until Brazil will host the second biggest sporting event in the world - the Rio Olympics. And it too, is behind schedule.

Last week the IOC (International Olympic Committee) President Thomas Bach got an update on progress. He sounded more positive - but still sounded a warning.

THOMAS BACH: We have to stay vigilant and that there's still no time to lose.

(Sound of protestors chanting)

(Large explosions)

BEN KNIGHT: During the World Cup, Brazil's government successfully kept the lid on the protests that have racked cities like Sao Paulo for the past year.

But the causes of the anger have not gone away: rising inflation, the poor condition of Brazil's hospitals, schools, public transport and of course, the corruption. And that's what Brazil wakes up to tomorrow.


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