Friday marks the start of the most important sports event in the world-FIFA World Cup. The first match, Brazil vs. Croatia, and the opening ceremony will air at 4pm ET. For Brazil, the host, it’s a chance to start off their first tournament on home soil since 1950 on the right foot, and overcome what’s likely the toughest challenge in their group.
Brazil is taking its hosting rights seriously and is making security its top priority. They have not only banned laptops from entering the stadium, but all other devices that could potentially be used to transmit sound, pictures, descriptions, or results of the events as well. The only device that has not been banned is the cell phone.
FIFA has hired over 500 officials and volunteers to be on the lookout for unauthorized parties taking pictures and videos of the event. It also has the legal backing of 15 laws firms, who were exclusively hired for the event.
The security bill is over $838 million USD, with a third of that given to the armed forces to patrol Brazil’s borders. More than 170,000 security officers will patrol the 12 World Cup stadiums during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and helicopters, drones, and surveillance equipment will also be used. It has spent 5 times the amount South Africa paid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup event.
The Brazilian Defense Ministry is cracking down on drug trafficking and other smuggling activities during the sporting festivities. The most serious threat with be protesters who will be protesting against poor public service, corruption, and the expenses that went into building stadiums for the World Cup.
Critics are widely opposed to the overblown spending on the World Cup and the upcoming Olympic Games in 2016. They believe that the money should instead go to health, education, transportation and better housing for Brazilians.
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