World Cup 2014, Brazil – Preview, Groups A&B

World Cup 2014, Brazil – Preview, Groups A&B
June 9, 2014 Chris Rowland

By Chris Rowland.

It’s fair to say the road to the World Cup in Brazil has not gone smoothly. The massive spending by the Government on new stadia and infrastructure has drawn massive public demonstrations and disturbances and angry clashes with the police. There may be more when the event actually begins. Meanwhile there have been problems with those stadia, missing FIFA deadlines and seemingly cutting corners on safety of workers, with several having tragically lost their lives during hurried construction work. At best it seems the incoming crowds will be passing outgoing dumper trucks and waiting for the cement to dry. Other potential problems include the cost of accommodation and travel for fans, the sheer distances involved, the climate, crime – it seems unreasonable to expect the mass support, particularly for the European countries, associated with previous World Cups.

Nevertheless, all that said, no country in the world identifies itself with football quite like Brazil, and despite the considerable reservoir of unrest about the event, we should assume massive support, wild enthusiasm and lots of drumming, as well as commentator hyperbole about ‘samba football’ and ‘carnival atmospheres’, once the football actually starts on June 12, particularly when the host nation’s iconic yellow shirts take the field.

So here without further adieu, as they say, is the TTT preview of the event. There’s predicting, voting, that interactivity stuff, even a sweepstake!

We’ll start in traditional fashion with A and B, two groups featuring the hosts and the holders. Brazil kick things off on Thursday evening against Croatia.

In the second phase, the Group A Winners and Group B Runners up will meet, and vice versa.

This preview is for subscribers only.