Romario sceptical about legacy of Brazil World Cup
SAO PAULO (AFP) - Football great Romario, now a socialist lawmaker, has expressed scepticism about the benefits of the 2014 World Cup for Brazilians.
In an op-ed carried in the Folha de Sao Paulo daily Saturday, the former FC Barcelona striker and 1994 World Cup winner said "Brazil will not take advantage of the full potential of the Cup." The 47-year-old former star pointed to a television commercial that highlights the frustration felt by the Brazilian public in the face of the country's daunting infrastructure problems.
"The pessimism of Brazilians is based on facts: the inability of decision-makers to plan generates delays in countless projects and raises the cost of the Cup," he noted. He also cited press reports of plans to forcibly evict 170,000 people to make way for urban development projects for the World cup and the 2016 Rio summer Olympics.
"I can say with conviction that a country is good for tourists only if it is first good for its own people," Romario said. "I am certain that Brazilians will be disappointed to see yet another wasted opportunity to improve the country's quality of life," he added.