Attention, investors and construction companies! In case you have a project for a 60.000-seater stadium in the drawer, approved by FIFA and with the financing question almost solved, now’s your chance: present it to government of São Paulo no later than 2 April and enter the selection process of THE project that will receive the government’s blessing, US$ 230 million in tax deductions and the opening game of the Brazil 2014 World Cup!
What’s that you said? “Too little time”? And “The stadium’s already being built”?
I’d better give you the full picture, dear reader… Turns out the State of São Paulo recently found out that it’s against regulations to simply offer up tax deductions to any private company or association – as for example Odebrecht and Corinthians, responsible for the construction of the already infamous Itaquerão stadium. What solution is available? Well, putting the offer out for “anyone” to bid on. The “winner” will be announced after the 30-days deadline closes. Too bad they missed the perfect date: April Fool’s Day. Pardon my resignation, but this country’s a joke.
Want more? Today, Ricardo Teixeira resigned as president of the Brazilian Federation of Football (CBF). By many described as “a cancer”, strong man Teixeira remained in power for no less than 23 years in spite of constant (and in several times proven) accusations of corruption. Teixeira stepping down is reason for commemoration but don’t get too excited: his replacement is 79-year-old former São Paulo Governor José Maria Marin, below pocketing one of the medals during the awards ceremony of the 2012 São Paulo Youth Cup. Lovely, no?
We humans adapt to all situations, we get used to things we shouldn’t. I’m not saying Sweden’s the best country in the world (after all I did leave, didn’t I), nor am I gloating about the state of things in Brazil, but I want you to consider this: some years back a Swedish Minister of Justice resigned over a controversy in which she was criticised, as a private individual, for being in favour of converting her tenancy into a condominium, circumventing a controversial housing tenure law that she was responsible for introducing and advocating in her public role as Minister of Justice. Take note: the Minister had done nothing even close to illegal, but the perceived moral double-standards of politically promoting one path and privately seeking another was enough to cause the public outcry that led to her resignation.
Putting things in perspective prevents us from going blind. Here in Brazil, could we at least try not to promote individuals caught on film stealing? Starting with our top-of-the-world remuneration-ranking congressmen…