Brazil being trounced by Germany is the real "Hand of God" saying it is fitting that the beautiful game was cremated in the land of the favelas. It was the Brazil's poor after all who gifted their many iconic teams the flair, style and joyousness the world loved, and which they were the custodians to till that fateful day.
It is only the Brazilian poor and some bleeding heart liberals who noted that when two workers perished under a construction connected to the tournament, their team chose not to honour their memory with a black arm-band, a minute of silence or even a mention. They were more preoccupied psyching themselves to play without Neymar who himself came from the ranks of the poor as did and do, so many of Brazil's best talent in all its sports, barring perhaps, golf, yachting, motor racing and polo.
There are other old-timers of course, already on their third, who weep, saying the tragedy is far greater — that football itself has died. It is only those who stare into their glasses before ordering their second who discover the truth: namely, that Brazil 2014 finally heralds FIFA rising out of the ashes into its new avatar — a global corporate behemoth, or, for want of a better term, a very powerful MNC indeed.
In the early 90s, with the USA buying into the game, FIFA began 'branding' itself. FIFA systematically copyrighted anything and everything to make itself the sole proprietor of the game at the national and international levels, and furthered this by spectacularly impinging itself into the consciousness of a global football-loving public every four years.
Today, post-Brazil 2014, FIFA is the 'World Bank' and 'Wall Street' of the game; and football itself, as many have been saying, a truly global 'industry' subservient to the larger corporate imperative of 'higher growth rates' and all that this implies. It is only the Brazilian poor perhaps who can nail the lie that equity trickles downwards, or, that thousands and thousands of jobs have been created for those unfortunate many whose traditional lands and occupations have already been 'acquired' to make way for 'infrastructure'.
The last game at Brazil 2014 has been done and dusted, so why should it surprise anyone that a summit of BRICS countries seamlessly took over the story while even more development and growth was aspired to? It matters not a whit that some environmentalists and economists say that if all the BRICS countries attain their optimum levels of growth, this small planet would require another seven planets to just feed it the resources it needs — including, of course, water.
And besides, even though many Indians may ignore the significance of Brazil being thrashed, football itself put to sword and the creed of high-growth rates declared the ultimate victor, those who still love the game may not be that safe.
Given international tournaments across age groups for both men and women that FIFA presides over, it eyes any country in the queue willing to open itself out to exploitation by 'infrastructure'. India, the world's success story, was accordingly honoured in 2007 with a visit from Sepp Blatter, the prominent face of FIFA. With his soft, camera-ready Hercule Poirot-esque affectations, Blatter may have felt at home given that the allegations against him for wheeling and dealing would do many of our own proud. He gushed as expected, designating India as a "sleeping giant". He took out his neatly folded caveat and told the media that given the lucrative possibilities the game has, land and infrastructure must be set aside for the betterment of football.
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