Research possibilities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

  • Published on
    11-Mar-2017

  • View
    219

  • Download
    7

Embed Size (px)

Transcript

  • This article was downloaded by: [University of Cambridge]On: 06 November 2014, At: 03:06Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Soccer & SocietyPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/fsas20

    Research possibilities for the 2014 FIFAWorld Cup in BrazilMiguel Conchasaa International Education and Entrepreneurship PHD program, TheUniversity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX, USAPublished online: 18 Nov 2013.

    To cite this article: Miguel Conchas (2014) Research possibilities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup inBrazil, Soccer & Society, 15:1, 167-174, DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2013.828600

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2013.828600

    PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

    Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever orhowsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arisingout of the use of the Content.

    This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

    http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/fsas20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/14660970.2013.828600http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2013.828600http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

  • Research possibilities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

    Miguel Conchas*

    International Education and Entrepreneurship PHD program, The University of theIncarnate Word, San Antonio, TX, USA

    The FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) World Cup is theworlds biggest soccer tournament and is one of the largest international sportingevents. In 2014, Brazil will host the quadrennial FIFA World Cup for the secondtime in its history. Since this premier global mega-event involves much of theworld and Brazil is a major nation that seeks to assert its position internationally,the situation is optimal for exploring various issues. Scholars have examinedvarious aspects of the ongoing preparations. Researchers have several optionsworthy of exploration including, but not limited to, relevant social phenomena,the social, cultural, economic and educational impact, as well as the culturalpractices related to this mega-event. The aim of this literature review is to pres-ent some key areas that should be considered in regards to the 2014 FIFA WorldCup in Brazil.

    Introduction

    In this modern-day age of rapid advances in technology, it is rather daunting to tryto keep up with all of the things going on in the world. Today, however, our livesare connected globally through commerce and information technology more thanever before. One way in which the whole world is watching together is throughhuge sporting events like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.1

    The FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) World Cup is thebiggest soccer tournament on the planet.2 Due to soccers global appeal, the FIFAWorld Cup receives an enormous amount of exposure in various media and informa-tion sources. News reports and articles inform audiences about the tournament andinclude astronomical figures measuring categories such as profits, viewership andattendance, for example. Such statistics are purposely stated to reflect the globalpopularity of the FIFA World Cup. As the FIFA website states, The FIFA WorldCup is the worlds most widely viewed sporting event.3 FIFA goes on to point outthat an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 FIFAWorld Cup held in Germany.4

    Every four years these mega-events present a stage where athletes representing awide variety of countries and cultures compete on a global level. Such events areplanned years in advance and involve major financing to execute well. The budgetfor FIFA World Cup 2014 has been estimated at 9.8 billion dollars and that does notinclude security costs.5 The international community watches the process with aninsatiable appetite for the next game and the next host country. Years ago, theseevents were reserved solely to be hosted by the First World nations that had the

    *Email: miconcha@student.uiwtx.edu

    2013 Taylor & Francis

    Soccer & Society, 2014Vol. 15, No. 1, 167174, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2013.828600

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Uni

    vers

    ity o

    f C

    ambr

    idge

    ] at

    03:

    06 0

    6 N

    ovem

    ber

    2014

    mailto:miconcha@student.uiwtx.eduhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2013.828600

  • economic vitality to viably stage them. In recent times, other countries and evendeveloping countries have been given the honour and responsibility of hosting themega-events. However, observers are asking if there will be, in fact, a positive last-ing impact for the developing country of Brazil.6 At the heart of their question iswhether this new practice is truly benefitting the people of those countries. Winningthe bid to host a FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament is considered an achievement;as Harris (2011) stated, in discussing South Africas experience in 2010, it high-lights the importance of political symbolism and international recognition as motiva-tion for hosting such mega-events.7 Winning the World Cup trophy itself isemblematic of a nations potential to be global victors in an age where conquest andbattles are thus metaphoric as compared to the imperial designs armies executed inthe past.

    Background

    The FIFA World Cup began in 1930 after the Olympic Games were designated to berestricted to athletes who were amateurs and not professionals. The first games wereheld in Uruguay where the host country team beat Argentina 42 in the final. Sincethen, it has been held every four years, except for 1942 and 1946 due to the SecondWorld War. Brazil is the only team to have participated in every World Cup and isthe most successful team, having won five World Cups, more than any other coun-try. The World Cup Finals consists of a month-long series of matches where 32teams compete for the Jules Rimet Trophy. To participate, national soccer teams playqualifying matches in the three years leading up to each World Cup Finals.

    Brazil actually hosted the World Cup in 1950, and expected to win by assertingits unique, poetic style of play.8 The epic loss to Uruguay remains a tragic day inBrazilian sports history. Now, 2014 approaches and much has changed politically,economically, socially and globally. The landscape of international relations andsports is one that is different, but here Brazil, again will be able to host a competi-tion in its territory. Brazil is one of the BRICs, rapidly developing countries identi-fied by Jim ONeill, chairman of Goldman Sachs, that are poised to assume greatereconomic power in the coming years.9 As such, Brazil now looks to the 2014 WorldCup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as opportunities to assert itselfas a capable nation that has matured to demonstrate its vitality on a global scale.

    Brazil is also a country that has forged a national identity that resonatesincredibly with this international sport. Their players are exported to the top leaguesin Europe and are usually in conversations concerning the best professionals in thegame. With 2014 on the horizon, the country is putting a great deal of investmentand effort into providing ample infrastructure and resources to properly stage thesemega-events.

    However, as Brazil goes forward in search of global prominence, this developingcountry receives criticism for doing so at the expense of its populations social ills.The rampant poverty and crime in the favelas continues to be an issue. There arereports of inadequate infrastructure and education for the marginalized.

    The World Cup is global and more so than any other sport. In 2006, accordingto FIFA, an estimated 2 billion viewers tuned in to watch the ItalyFrance final.10 Itserves as political and cultural capital with the most widely viewed relevance. Thepurpose of this literature review is to examine the process of how a modern-daydeveloping nation adapts to host a mega-event while todays issues and challenges

    168 M. Conchas

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Uni

    vers

    ity o

    f C

    ambr

    idge

    ] at

    03:

    06 0

    6 N

    ovem

    ber

    2014

  • continue to need attention. I will examine some significant cultural issues and topicsthat should be considered when conducting research in Brazil during the 2014 FIFAWorld Cup. Such possibilities are important today because of the aforementionedacknowledgement that soccer is one of the most globally followed sports in theworld. The way the world comes together and stages this mega-event has majorimplications. On a micro-level, the FIFA World Cup affects the local communitieswhere it is hosted. From a macro-perspective, the FIFA World Cup exhibits a studyand practice in international relations between the nations of the world.

    In an ever-increasing world of global and technological interconnectedness, theFIFA World Cup will continue to grow and so will Brazil. To examine the phenom-ena that occur there permits academic and intellectual reflection, to contributeknowledge that could assist FIFA and Brazil in fulfilling the highest aspirations thatare altruistically presented in their propaganda. The literature shows that scholars areinterested in a diverse set of issues. Some examine the FIFA World Cup from a criti-cal perspective, and others look for evidence of social responsibility. In addition,some focus on the fan experience, and/or the dynamics of nation, culture and iden-tity. As Geertz stated, culture denotes an historically transmitted pattern of mean-ings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolicforms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowl-edge about and attitudes toward life.11

    Critical perspective

    Thematically, some view the FIFA World Cup with a critical perspective. These seethis mega-event as a manifestation of globalization forces to be exerted over thosewithout power. They further contend that the astronomical costs are not acceptable.Moreover, this displays a lack of concern for the welfare of citizens. In other words,these mega-events are conceived and produced as privileged events for elite.Gaffney (2010) questions this unbridled investment in sporting infrastructure versusthe development of better social and educational programs.12 In his view, mega-events control the urban spaces and therefore social relations. FIFA will require mas-sively improved infrastructure and the construction of what Gaffney calls sportiveconstellations, that is, the places, spaces, and the systems of flows that connectthem for these mega-events. He goes on to state that although FIFA claim topromote good values, it will, however, really serve the dominant paradigm ofinternational sport and neo-liberal political economy.13

    FIFA does seem, in certain ways, to dictate in its dealings with developingnations that are hosting. For example, Ronquillo (2012) also points out that the lawof housing rights is being ignored. She adds that the lack of transparency shows thatthe Brazilian government is more concerned with having an image as a big emerg-ing country than with the welfare of its citizens.14 FIFAs imposing actions on hostnations is also exemplified by the change to an alcohol ban during soccer games forthe duration of the World Cup in 2014.15 Bray (2011) criticizes FIFA and states thatit is important to remember that FIFA and the Olympic Committee are not in thebusiness of developing economies they are profit-driven organizations looking tosell tickets and promote sport globally.16

    There are others who are looking critically at what is happening in this WorldCup preparation. Nauright (2004) takes the perspective of global games as forces ofglobalization inequalities.17 Gaffney (2010) explains how mega-events (e.g. Rio

    Soccer & Society 169

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Uni

    vers

    ity o

    f C

    ambr

    idge

    ] at

    03:

    06 0

    6 N

    ovem

    ber

    2014

  • Olympics) are installing temporary regimes of extra-legal governance and theseregimes are transforming the socio-space.18 Madeiro (2007) states that FIFA tendsto favour its own interests and those of its sponsors.19 Bray (2011) flatly advisesdeveloping countries to forego the Olympic and World Cup glory and spend yourtaxpayers dollars on projects that will actually benefit them for the long term.20

    Other relevant issues about global soccer in general that have been exploredrecently are cultural literacy and the recurrence of racism in this world sport, forexample, in Spain and in England. Also of concern under this category are socioeco-nomic status and globalization, namely those who are not included, the poor and themarginalized. Women are not receiving as much coverage, and they may be evensubject to more discrimination.

    Social responsibility and positive impact

    On the other hand, there are those who advocate positively with regard to the upcom-ing FIFA World Cup, and they point to intercultural awareness as one of the benefits.This refers to the learning of other cultures that inevitably happens during the courseof the World Cup games. Torres (2011) that these mega-events allow nations, andindividual contestants, to recognize and cooperate with each other in spite of theirdifferences but also opens up unique dialogical opportunities.21 Related to the afore-mentioned intercultural awareness, are the concepts of transnationalism and cosmo-politanism. This refers to something bigger than just one nation. Giulianotti andBrownell (2012) say that because sport provides a space for the forging of transna-tional connections and global consciousness, it is increasingly significant withincontemporary processes of globalization and the making of transnational society.22

    The mega-event also offers an opportunity for social change and political dialogue.Also of note is the impact on innovation. From the way the games are televised,

    for example the advances in 3D technology, to the planning and preparations intothe actual...