“The two Brazils:” How World Cup preparations highlight economic disparities

With soccer’s World Cup just a few months away—this time in Brazil—the story behind the story is beginning to emerge. The sports story will, of course, be followed by billions of fans rooting for their country’s all-star teams. But for non-sports fans, there’s a back story that’s worth noting, too. It’s the economic story—the one about the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on soon-to-be-white-elephant stadiums, the displacement of slum dwellers who inconveniently occupy suddenly-valuable real estate near the venues, and the pacification of Brazil’s traditionally hyper-exuberant, singing-and-dancing fans.

“…there are two Brazils,” says soccer writer Greg Wahl in an article in the March 4, 2014 issue of Sports Illustrated. “As the freighted month of June approaches again, how those two interact will be as compelling as anything that takes place on a soccer field.”

The article examines the economic excesses and inequalities, and the political and cultural impacts that underlie that country’s preparations for the June 2014 World Cup. Read the full article here: “Like a lingering cloud of tear gas: how do you reconcile the two Brazils?