From an early age, we’re taught that international events like the Olympics and World Cup bring people together from across the globe to bond over competitive sports. We are, however, often left unaware of the immense effects these worldwide events incur on the hosting cities. From massive debt and corruption to unsustainable facilities resulting in death, these colossal projects can quickly take a turn for the worst. Malevolence and neglect comes from not hiring proper construction management companies, as well as poor governmental coordination. The following article will detail recent instances in which international sporting events have encountered significant consequences as a result of this malfeasance.
Brazil 2014 World Cup
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil was often cast in a positive light, showcasing small Brazilian children running around with their soccer balls, highlighting the positive aspects to the Brazilian soccer-loving culture. What was left unseen, however, was the extreme poverty in all of the town’s housing the 10 stadiums and the worker death tolls during the building of these stadiums. These conditions left certain stadiums unfinished and unsafe. As a result, Brazil was forced to deal with approximately $11 billion in preparation costs, and having to deal with workers who went on strike to show their resentment of the harsh conditions and deaths instigated by the event. Now, Brazil is amid its first economic recession since 2008.
Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
The Sochi Games were the most expensive Olympics to date, coming in at around $50 billion dollars-over four times more than the initial budget. The price tag on this event caused extensive allegations of corruption as the cause of the expansive budget. The costs can be attributed to the complete lack of prerequisite engineering and construction management talent. The state also failed to hire a competent labor force, leading to this past winter’s Twitter phenomena #SochiProblems where athletes and reporters alike were posting photos to document the terrible conditions of the hotel accommodations. Needless to say, the efforts to turn this tiny town into an international spotlight still lead the event’s coverage to be far from ideal. Dozens of people, including entire families were forced out of their homes in Sochi to make way for the Olympics under the legislation known as Law 301. While most of these families received compensation, many of the former residents claimed that it’s not enough. Allegedly, several homes were demolished to supposedly build a highway that was already established two miles away: a consequence that could’ve been avoided with proper government oversight and construction management.
Qatar 2022 World Cup
Since it began construction in 2010, more than one thousand migrant workers have died in the building of the various stadiums. These workers are fitted to sleep twelve to a room and to share a single toilet. These labor camps are overseen by slumlords and security guards are in place to prevent the workers from escaping. The workers are building stadiums, the new airport, subway lines, hotels, roads, and more to make the city hospitable to the influx of soccer fans come 2022. Such treacherous conditions and construction management most definitely violate certain basic human rights, potentially leading to the relocation of the 2022 World Cup.
This discussion of these events only scratches the surface of corruption, unsuitable conditions, and death tolls that arise from improperly managed and delegated construction projects during worldwide games, such as the World Cup and the Olympics. Of course, there are myriad other factors, including specific location and government stability. It is undeniable, however, that a competent construction manager could save peoples lives, as well as a country’s economic stability.