IN THE SHADOW OF THE STADIUMS
Monday 16th June, 8.30pm ABC1
The ‘beautiful game’ is coming home. Brazil, the most successful nation in football history, is hosting the 2014 World Cup. But what’s the cost and could the billions of dollars used to host the bid have been better spent?
This week on Four Corners: why so many Brazilians have been protesting against the World Cup and why the event has been overshadowed by questions about the spiralling cost of staging the tournament.
BBC reporter Chris Rogers meets the families who live in the shadow of the multi-million dollar football stadiums, forced to sell drugs and their own bodies to survive.
For its part, the government hoped the massive sporting event would provide an economic boost and deliver a showcase for the economic and social miracle it claims to have created in modern Brazil.
Citing a revolutionary welfare program called ‘Bolsa Familia’, the government claims millions of people have been lifted out of poverty and millions more moved into the middle class.
But the critics point out a quarter of the population still lives in extreme poverty. They also emphasise that the new stadiums demanded by FIFA are situated in suburbs wracked by an epidemic of drug addiction and child prostitution.
Tonight, ‘In the Shadow of the Stadiums’ reveals the shame of a country where children as young as 12 sell their bodies for the price of a soft drink, where drug cartels control whole swathes of city centres and where the poor are feeling more dispossessed than ever before.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE STADIUMS, reported by Chris Rogers for the BBC’s Panorama and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday 16th June at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 17th at 11.00am and again at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm and at ABC iview.