Since Brazil won the right to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, preparations for both competitions have come under massive international criticism – and there’s been rioting and demonstrations against them in Brazil.
Does Brazil deserve to host them both?
Brazil is the largest country in South America, taking up about half of the continent. It is has a large population – about 200,000,000 people – and a huge gap in income between the richest and poorest.
The wealthy in Brazil live a comfortable life, but as over 84% of the population (168 million people) live in cities. There just isn’t room for them all. And so many – the poorest – are crammed into areas called favelas, which are poorly built houses packed close together in shanty towns.
Because of the big difference between rich and poor, the crime rate is high. The main cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia all have areas that are dangerous to go into – areas tourists are advised to stay well away from.
Brazil has a desperate need for more money to spent on education, transport, looking after the poor and needy, and proper housing for millions of people. It can’t afford to spend an estimated one trillion dollars. That’s $1,000,000,000,000. (If that amount was divided between every person living in New Zealand, we’d all get $250,000 each!)
And two years after spending that ridiculous amount of money on a soccer competition, Brazil is going to have to pay even more to host the Olympic Games. Which, by the way, are behind schedule and the International Olympic Committee are beginning to worry – London, it has been rumoured, is being put on standby to host again in case Brazil can’t make it.
Hosting these international sporting events should be a privilege, an opportunity for a country to show off the best about itself. The eyes of the world were on New Zealand during the amazing 2011 Rugby World Cup.
But a country should not be awarded the right to host an event like the Olympics or Soccer World Cup while millions of people in the country live in poor housing, don’t have jobs, have a high crime rate – people who need the money spent on them.
Article written by Ben Egerton
[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box]
[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:
1) Does Brazil deserve the right to host both the Soccer World Cup and the Olympic Games?
2) Why do you think Brazil was given both events?
3) What are the benefits to Brazil in hosting both competitions?
[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:
1) Go to the Soccer World Cup website. Where do the teams come from? Do they come from rich countries or poor countries? What information could you use to work out if the countries are described as rich or poor? Pick one of the countries from the World Cup and research into it – prepare a short presentation or fact-file for your classmates. Think about things like population, location, capital city, education standards, industries and jobs, climate, famous people who come from there.
2) One trillion dollars is a lot of money. What else could a country use it for? What should a country be spending that much money on?
[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say:
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