JUNE 25, 2014

Keeping score at the 2014 World Cup

by Larry Gray

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil kicked off on June 12, and the final championship match is scheduled for July 13. If host country Brazil pulls off a successful event, it could gain prestige on the world stage and benefit from increased tourism. However, if the experience is marred by inferior infrastructure, safety issues, worker strikes and social unrest, it could give the country a black eye and adversely affect the tourist turnout when Rio de Janeiro hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics.

•          Brazil ranks as the world’s seventh largest economy with GDP of $2.4 trillion.

•          After expanding by 7.5 percent in 2010, Brazil’s GDP growth slowed to 2.3 percent last year.

•          Brazil’s Gini index, which measures the degree of income inequality within a country, is 54.7, the 13th worst among the 150 nations tracked.

•          In March, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Brazil’s long-term debt rating to BBB–, one notch above “junk” status.

•          Brazil has won five World Cups, more than any other country.

•          Reportedly, this year’s event carries an $11.5 billion price tag, the most expensive ever.

•          Only 48 percent of Brazilians now say hosting the World Cup was a good idea, down from 79 percent in 2008, according to a poll in April.

•          Around 600,000 tourists are expected to travel to Brazil during the event, injecting $3 billion into the economy.

•          Dignitaries expected to attend the event include U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Forgot your username or password?