The FIFA World Cup 2014 Project: “All in one (Brazilian) rhythm”

13 June 2014
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Millions of worldwide fans eagerly await this year’s top football event, the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, which is currently on its way. To understand this gigantic project, we don’t have to look to far, to recognize that the planning and organization of the project conforms to this World Cup’s slogan: “All in one rhythm” – although a Brazilian rhythm. From the perspective of a Project Manager, the project is a disaster, especially when considering the fact that the opening match on June 12 in Sao Paolo will take place in an unfinished stadium with the budget increased by 285 % compared to its original figures.

After the first Jubilation in Zurich in 2007, when Brazil was awarded the FIFA World Cup 2014, the organizers quickly realized, that it was not enough to make minor renovations to the existing stadiums and modernize its infrastructure. The fact was, that simply none of the stadiums met the requirements of FIFA.  In fact, some of the stadiums even had huge safety deficiencies. In the end, 6 stadiums had to be built from scratch and the remaining stadiums were given a general overhaul. The costs that were originally estimated at approximately 1 billion Euros, had increased to 8.75 billion Euros in September 2013 according to the cost report “Matrix of Responsibility” and finally had been increased once again in the last months to around 11 billion Euros (Note: they stopped updating the cost report in September last year, thus figures are according to estimates). Thus, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is considered the most expensive World Cup ever. In addition to a lack of cost and budget planning, this major project also made the headlines due to insufficient resource planning and time management issues. During the construction phase, which only began three years after Brazil was named the host of FIFA World Cup 2014, the project has been brought into disrepute by Brazil’s football-mad population following the revelation of incidents of corruption, forced relocations and the miserable working conditions. As a result of these planning errors the Brazilian population reacted with mass protests in 2013.

Despite all the issues surrounding the World Cup project, in my opinion, it remains a success in its own way. The fact is, this World Cup will also make history and will most likely lead the football-maddest country in the world on a new path. The World Cup project is a milestone and will also be the beginning of a positive change and start for Brazil. Although it is expected that the next major Brazilian project, the Olympic Games in 2016, may bring its own surprises, as the country grows with its tasks it is on its way to finally growing up.

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