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FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 BRAZIL AND MAURITIUS

Joys, Tears and Floods

                             

The Blue Planet is rotating as a Football to the tune of Samba since 12 June 2014. Brazil, the host country for the FIFA World Cup (MEN) 2014, is in global focus together with the 12 cities where 32 nations and supporters express their joys and shed their tears. Mauritius is also dancing at the same wave length. At the same time NASA Satellite has clipped zones of Floods that have caused deaths and damage to property. Social instability in the ‘Samba land’ has also been in international lime light.

Brazil is the fifth largest country of the world-8,456,511million square kilometres and also the largest in South America-4,772 kilometres from north to south and 4,331kilometres from east to west. It has a population of about 205.7 million souls who live more in the eastern and coastal regions like Sao Paulo (19.9m) and Rio de Janeiro (11.8m). That is why most of the host stadiums of 2014 World Cup Tournament are located in these regions. Almost the whole of the land mass of Brazil is located in the Tropic and Sub-Tropic of Capricorn up to Latitude 360 South. However, the imaginary line of Equator crosses the northern tip of the country.

The geographical features of Brazil are very diverse naturally speaking: mountains reaching 3,014 metres; dense rain forests and jungles (mostly unexplored yet); rivers-Amazon being the longest, navigable with 200 tributaries; plains; long stretches of coastline and clusters of islands, etc.    

 As such Brazil is very rich in fauna and flora. The scientific world estimates that this country is home to about four million different species, particularly extensive populations of birds and amphibians. However, there are lots of plants and animals which are yet to be discovered both in the dense jungles and in the surrounding Atlantic Ocean. As Brazil is experiencing rapid economic development, there are about 400 plants which are under threat of extinction including 50, of which medicinal, at critical level. The major causes are: overpopulation, industrialization, deforestation and illegal logging and pollution.      

The economic development is accelerated by the discovery of a new oil field, called Tupi, 16,000 feet below the ocean's floor in November 2007. Tupi will yield five to eight billion barrels of crude oil and natural gas, making it the largest oil field discovered after that of Kashagan Field in Kazakhstan in 2000. Nevertheless, according to the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce “The great disappointment comes from the possibility that GDP growth will be lower, with expectations that it will hover around 2% in 2014. This year’s performance is frustrating...The effect of the World Cup is expected to be limited and temporary. Its greatest impact will be in the shaping of expectations: a Brazilian victory will certainly help reverse the climate of relative pessimism. A defeat, however… can deepen the confidence crisis and even change the course of the presidential election”.

Out of the 205.7 million Brazilians, 60 million citizens live in poverty. This situation generates all types of social evils-organised crimes and violence, drug trafficking, prostitution-legalised (child/teenage illegal and rampant).

Agriculture is an important industry in Brazil. The Southern region represents nearly two-thirds of the country and is has a semi-temperate, or moderate, climate, which renders the soils fertile enriched by higher rainfalls.

Its most significant products in this sphere are coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus and beef, of which coffee, soybeans, beef, sugar cane, ethanol and frozen chickens are exported. Brazil is also the second-largest producer of soybeans. It is the global leader in the production of sugarcane, harvesting more than 600 million tons annually. It produces 7,054 million gallons of ethanol (2008/9) and is the 2nd country after US.

The agricultural area of Northeast Brazil (including some of the Amazon Basin), on the other hand, is far drier and less equipped, namely, droughts, and lacks infrastructure, capital and good soil, due to minimal rainfall. 

It is also interesting to note that there were many plants, fruit trees and medicinal herbs that were introduced, by Intendant Pierre Poivre (1767-1772) in Mauritius during the French Colonisation. These were mainly from South East Asia and also from Brazil, like the guavas which is popularly called as ‘Chinese and French guavas’.

Tourism is becoming a major industry in Brazil, particularly with the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It is the most visited country in the continent of South America today.

Political and Social Turmoil

Historians and Scientists believe that the Brazilian population originated from Asian people who migrated 8,000 years ago by crossing the Pacific Ocean and/or the Strait of Bering (Arctic). Portuguese Navigator Pedro Alvarez Cabral (1467-1520), a friend of Vasco Da Gama, discovered Brazil on 22 April 1500. The Portuguese also introduced Slavery from Africa to exploit woods and agricultural produce-coffee and sugar around 1530. Gold was discovered and exported. Evangelization of the indigenous people started in 1549 when Sao Salvador de Bahia was declared capital of the Portuguese Colony. The Conquistadores also forced some sort of sexual interactions with the local people in view of causing a new ethnic or breed of people to suit their purpose in times of social distress. Such a strategy was also carried out by the Portuguese Colonization in Africa and Asia.

History teaches us that the wars among the Continental Europeans were transferred in other continents and oceans. The French colonized Guanabara Bay in 1555. The Dutch captured Salvador de Bahia, Recife, Pernambuco and others. Eventually, lots of warfare took place and treaties signed among the French, Dutch and British. The Kingdom of Brazil was formed in 1815. Pedro1 became the Emperor of Brazil on 01 December 1822. The First Constitution was promulgated on 24 February 1891. Civil Warfare and Military Coups occurred until the First Presidential Election took place in 1960.

The UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) also known as the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro 3-14 June 1992. This is considered as a major conference and is also known as the Declaration of Rio which eventually raised issues like ‘human rights, population, social development, women and human settlements-and the need for environmentally sustainable development, climate change, biological diversity, deforestation, and desertification’. The Declaration of Rio contains fundamental principles on which nations can base their future decisions and policies, considering the environmental implications of socio-economic development.

The new currency ‘real’ equivalent to US $ was introduced on 01 July 1994.

Brazil is, today, the world’s seventh-largest economy. President Dilma Rousseff, who was former President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva’s chosen successor, became Brazil’s first female president in 2011.

Media have reported on Tuesday 10 June 2014 that the mono-rail in Sao Paulo collapsed killing one construction worker and injured two. Moreover, subway workers have also been on strike in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo which threw traffic into chaos in the city before the opening game of the World Cup. Eventually, Police in Sao Paulo have used tear gas to disperse protesters just three days before the opening game of the World Cup.

A flyover made of concrete and steel has collapsed on 05 July crushing the front part of a bus and on two lorries in the city of Belo Horizonte, killing two people and injuring some others.


FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

The FIFA World Cup is the 'biggest single-event sporting competition in the world' and is contested by the senior men's national teams from the 209 Member Associations of FIFA. The competition was first played in 1930 and has been played every four years except in 1942 and 1946 when it was upheld because of the Second World War. 

The 19 FIFA World Cup Tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil has won five times, and it is the only team to have played in every tournament. The other winners are Italy, with four titles; Germany, with three wins; Argentina and inaugural winners Uruguay, with two; and England, France, and Spain, with one title each. The next two World Cups will be hosted by Russia in 2018, and Qatar in 2022. Click here to verify.

World Cup 2014 Brazil

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The first World Cup was organized in 1930 in Uruguay by Jules Rimet (1873–1956) the 3rd President of FIFA. The Jules Rimet Trophy was won by Uruguay 4-2 against Argentina. The Headquarters is found in Zürich, Switzerland. FIFA's Membership now comprises 209 national associations and it promotes many social development initiatives for youth. It has worked in close cooperation with the United Nations since 1999 when then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter met in New York to announce the start of a closer relationship between the two organisations. 

The FIFA WC 2014 hosted by Brazil has welcomed 32-nations since Thursday 12 June 2014 kick off. The event has cost Brazil $14 billion (the highest of all) in investments in stadiums, airports, urban transport and other infrastructure improvements. One third has been spent on new or renovated stadiums in 12 host cities.

According to media reports the governing body of FIFA is accused of making money from the most costly World Cup in history at the expense of the Brazilian people. But FIFA has replied by stating that it is ‘Brazil's choice to build 12 stadiums instead of opting for eight or 10, and investments including infrastructure not directly linked to the World Cup that will benefit the country for years to come. Moreover, it has covered the entire US$2 billion operational costs of the World Cup with money from the sale of World Cup TV and marketing rights, and not a cent by Brazilian taxpayers’. However, many Brazilians consider that there are more important priorities and say the money should have been spent on improvements to deficient public services in health, education and transport. As a result, anti-World Cup protests were made in streets last year. Protesters also complain that tickets to the games in the new stadiums are so expensive that many Brazilian fans of the popular sport cannot afford them, despite they are cheaper as compared to other sports events like the Olympic Games, Formula 1 races and tennis tournaments.

Prize Money distribution for FIFA World Cup 2014 (14% higher than 2013):-

Total Prize Money: $576 million.

Participation Fee: $1.5 Million (each 32 Teams).

At Group Stage- $8m x 16 teams; at Round of 16-$9m x 8 teams; Quarter Final Round-$14m x 4 teams; 4th Place Team-$18m x 1 team; 3rd Place Team-$20m x 1 Team; Runner Up-$25m x 1 Team and Winner- $35m; Insurance Money-$100m and $70m as fees to Clubs whose players played in the World Cup.

 FIFA WORLD CUP (MEN) 2014 in Brazil

Brazil is the most successful national football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup, with five championships: 195819621970,1994 and 2002. The 2014 meeting is hosted by Brazil since 12 June 2014 with 12 different stadiums: Arena de Sao Paulo, Estadio das Dunas Natal, Arena Fonte Nova Salvador, Arena Pantanal Cuiaba, Estadio Mineirao Belo Horizonte, Estadio Castelao Fortaleza, Arena Amazonia Manaus, Arena Pernambuco Recife, Estadio Nacional Brasilia, Esatdio Beira-Rio Porto Alegre, Estadio do Maracana Rio de Janeiro, Arena da Baixada Curitiba. (Click here).

Opening Ceremony

The kick off started in Arena de Sao Paulo after the pompous inaugural ceremony on Thursday 12 June 2014 watched almost world-wide. Decorations, uniforms, light effects, choreographic songs, dances and music highlighted the ‘biggest single-event sporting competition in the world’. Brazil won 3-1 over Croatia under the joys of the host citizens.

According to FIFA 180,000 tickets have been sold for the event. It is noteworthy that tickets accompany many strict control, terms and conditions. These are as mainly as follows:

Notice and Acknowledgement of the Stadium Code of Conduct by the Ticket; Common Sense Conduct Inside the Stadium; FIFA exclusive rights on photographs, images, sound and commercial items ; Prohibited Items: harmful , amongst many others and any size of musical instruments including vuvuzelas. That is why the noisy sounds as experienced in South Africa FIFA World Cup 2010 are missing. Yet, face painting, flags, banners, masks, dresses, songs, chants, dances, hip-hops, shouts, screams, laughs and mimics are the pixels colouring the football folklores among the spectators. 

FIFA Classification of the 4 Semi-Finalist Teams (2 from Continental Europe and 2 from South America) : Brazil (3) v Germany (2) and Netherlands (15) v Argentina (5). Results of match played on 08 July: Germany 7-1 Brazil; Argentina 4-2 Netherlands (after penalty shoot outs) on 09 July. Joys and tears flooded both the spectators and players.

The Brazilians lost the 1950 final 2-1 to Uruguay at Maracana Stadium of Rio de Janeiro, the first time Brazil hosted the tournament.  The worst loss ever by Brazil team was 6-0, again to Uruguay, at the 1920 Copa America in Uruguay.

Germany won astonishingly 7-1 against Brazil on 08 July 2014. Five goals were scored in the first 29 minutes which represent the fastest any team has scored in any game in World Cup history. In addition, German star player Miroslav Klose is now the highest goal scorer in World Cup history. Klose has 16 career World Cup goals, breaking a tie with Brazil’s Ronaldo who had 15.

Brazil and Netherlands will play for the 3rd and 4th place on Saturday 12 July 2014 at Estadio National Brazilia. They both are eligible for the following prize money ($m):

$1.5 + $8 +$9+$14+$18= $50.5m plus a bonus of $2m if any of the two reaches 3rd place.

The Final Match will be held at Estadio do Maracana Rio De Janeiro on Sunday 13 July 2014 at usual time. The prize money for the finalists Germany and Argentina will be as follows ($m):

$1.5+$8+$9+$14+$25=$57.5m plus a bonus of $10m for the Final Winner and

Insurance Money-$100m and $70m as fees to Clubs whose players played in the World Cup.

Out of the 32 Country Teams almost all players expressed their joys and sorrows at the rhythm of losing and/or winning the match. The citizens of Mauritius, though have never been able to qualify for this ‘biggest single-event sporting competition in the world’, have also been participating with joys and tears. Brazil is the most favourite team.

There are many players who have been injured and been shedding tears. Shooting Star Neymar has been hurt seriously and we wish a rapid recovery for him and also for all others.  

But, only one team will rejoice during the four coming years until the 2018 FIFA WC in Russia. Which of the two country teams will win the final jackpot: Germany (Die Mannschaf) three times winner or Argentina twice winner? Who will rejoice or shed tears: Super Star Lionel Messi (number 10) or Shooting Star Thomas Muller (number 13)? The Final Match will take place on 13 JULY 2014 at Rio de Janeiro.


Revelation of World Cup Stars

Almost all sporting events limelight constellations of stars. As far as World Cup Football competition is concerned lots of rising stars shine brilliantly, like Zico, Ronaldo, Kaka, Romario, Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Oscar, Neymar, Thomas Muller (my favourite before 2010). They are mostly from South America especially from Brazil.

Out of all these stars, there is only one spectacular player. He is the one and only Edson Arantes do Nascimento popularly known as KING PELE (initially nick named Dico). Pelé is often considered as the master of soccer and in Brazil is a national hero. This magical footballer is considered to be one of the greatest soccer players of all time. Pelé began playing for Santos Team at 15 and the  Brazil National Football Team at the age of16 for the Minor Team League and was coached by his father Dondinho, a football star himself. Pelé’s favourite player was called Bilé-goalkeeper of Vasco Team. He could not pronounce the name properly and instead pronounced Bilé as Pelé. It is from here that Edson Arantes do Nascimento was nick named as Pelé.

Pelé was in the Brazilian World Cup squad in 1958 and he won three World Cups with Brazil. He scored 1281 goals in his career and 12 out of the 14 World cup goals. In 1999, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the IOC, and was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century. In 2013 he received the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur in recognition of his career and achievements as a global icon of football. In total Pelé scored 1281 goals in 1363 games, including unofficial friendlies and tour games, for which he was listed in the Guinness World Records for most career goals scored in football. He won three FIFA World Cups: 19581962 and 1970, the only player ever to do so, and is the all-time leading goal scorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games. In 2000, he was awarded Player of the Century including his many other great achievements. Today, President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff has asked Pelé to serve as the honorary ambassador for the 2014 World Cup.

Shooting Star Rodriguez

The FIFA WC 2014 has seen James Rodriguez, (number 10) of Colombia Team, as the shooting star with 6 world cup goals. Although Colombia has been eliminated, the Team has marked history by reaching quarter finals for the first time. The striking scene according to me was the one where David Luiz goal scorer and Dani Alves defender, both of Brazilian Team, were consoling and ‘wiping’ the tears of Rodriguez after the match Brazil v Colombia. They must surely been congratulating him of the successful position reached by Colombia and also of considering him of a Star of FIFA WC 2014. This is the model that all sportsmen/women should adopt in the spirit of sportsmanship, of fair play, of courtesy and of solidarity (say no to racism slogan of FIFA).

James David Rodríguez Rubio was born on 12 July 1991 in Cúcuta, Colombia. In 1995, Rodríguez joined the Envigado Club academy for a period of 9 years. During this time he played for different youth teams of this age (13) taking part in junior championships. He started his career in professional football in 2006 by signing for Envigado Club as midfielder for the 2006/2007 season. He became a regular and a reliable player for almost all the matches for Envigado. From 2006 to 2008 Rodríguez participated in 55 matches and scored 20 goals for his first professional club.

In 2008 Rodríguez signed a contract with the Banfield of Argentina for a two-year contract, scoring 5 goals in 42 matches for Banfield. Then Rodriguez signed a permanent contract in 2010 with the Porto Club of Portugal where he played until 2013. Thereafter, he joined Monaco of France Ligue 1 for a record deal worth around 45 million euros. From 2007 to 2011 James Rodríguez made 16 appearances for the Colombia U-17 and U-20 national teams scoring 6 goals. Since 2011 he has been appearing for the Colombia National Squad.

The Colombian Team won all the three qualifying round of 16 with 9 points and knocked out Uruguay in the 1/8th round but lost against Brazil 1-2 for the quarter finals. However, Star Rodriguez (number 10) scored 6 goals during all the 5 matches. Rodriguez scored one in each but two against Uruguay, the first of which is considered as the best goal out of the 10 of the 2014 tournament. Today, aged 23, James Rodriguez is in the focus of Manchester United and Real Madrid. His tears will no doubt flow for the joys awaiting him in more prestigious international clubs.

In contrast, Luiz Alberto Suarez Diaz, although has a successful career, crashed like a meteorite causing disruption of conduct ethics. He did not have the spirit of sportsmanship, of fair play and of courtesy. As a habitual offender in two previous occasions, he has been sanctioned by FIFA for biting the shoulder of player Giorgio Chiellini during the match against Italy at the qualifying 16 round. Luis Suarez (1) has been suspended for nine international matches and banned for four months from all football related activity; (2)is prohibited from entering any stadium for the four months of the ban and (3) has been fined 100,000 Swiss francs (£66,000). FIFA should have been harsher as a deterrent. What is the use of shaking hands with all the opponents, with the referees and officials, of saying no to racism and of chanting the national anthem before the match? Suarez is surely shedding tears for his gross misconduct.

 Brazil and Floods

Brazil is located in the zone between the Equator and the whole of the Tropic of Capricorn. As such the whole land mass of the North is warm up to 330 Celsius in winter under the influence of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. So, humidity, heat, thunderstorms, cyclones, rainfalls and drought are inevitable. The South is rather colder reaching 00Celsius in the zone of the Sub-Tropical area. This is a zone where there are lots of convection interact with the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). That is why rainfalls appear more abundant here. Click here to verify.

In fact, Torrential Rain occurred during four days at the beginning of June 2014 in the Southern region of Brazil and continued until 15 June. Consequently, this triggered flooding, combined with mud, of River Parana which flows all along the frontiers of Paraguay in the West and of Argentina in the South. Moreover, Rivers Piquiri and Ivai which run inside Brazil were also swollen. Inevitably, ‘130 cities of Brazil were under state of emergency’ according to Reuters report. In addition, 10 persons were killed by the flood in the state of Parana Brazil. The city of Curitiba, which has one of the 12 official World Cup stadiums, was affected together with the tourist resorts found along Iguazu River that flows between Brazil and Argentina.  More than 31,000 families have been affected, of whom 1,600 families had to be evacuated from their homes in Paraguay.

NASA Terra Satellite passed on that zone on 11 and 12 June 2014 at the crucial inauguration and kick off of the FIFA World Cup and imaged the swollen rivers mentioned above. Click here to verify.

The National Institute of Meteorology (INMET) was created by Decree 7672 of President Nile, on November 18, 1909, The Bank of Meteorological Data INMET already incorporated in digital form, in its collection, daily information collected since 1961weather data approximately 12 million documents. The INMET has a National Meteorological Library with a collection of about 20 thousand volumes on meteorology and related areas, including rare works of the ancient Imperial Observatory.

Currently, the Geostationary Satellite GEOS 13 E, positioned South of the Equator, is supplying imageries to the Instituto Nacional Meteorologia of Brazil.

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P.KANHYE                                                                11 JULY 2014.     

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