FIFA World Cup and Fortaleza


When I was in Fortaleza the week before the games started (Fortaleza is host to a number of games, including the 0-0 Mexico vs Brazil tie), everyone was talking about the failure of authorities to get anything to done and finished. And how the money was wasted on the stadium while basic services lacked. They failed to complete any of the major projects associated with the Cup, other than the stadium itself (which is beautiful, by the way). The metro wasn’t finished. Airport expansion looks like a project that was just started (concrete pillars and rebar sticking out everywhere) when it should’ve been up and running.

Those final days before the Cup were a comical scene of last minute rushing to put lipstick on a pig and spruce things up for visitors. Trying to get to the airport to finalize travel documents for Tatiana’s dog (Theo), took an hour when it should have been 20 minutes. The cause? The main road to the freeway had a lane shut down in each direction because they were painting the center of the road and sprucing up the plants. At the airport itself, the line to pay for parking was 10 deep because they had closed two automatic machines while the erected scaffolding to wipe down the underside of the canopy that protected the caixa from the sun. I shouted “Limpa Brasil!” (Clean Brazil! in place of Go Brazil!) and got a good laugh from the line of people. They were also re-painting the walls lining the highway to the airport to cover the graffiti. At least it provided some work/jobs, right?

Here’s a couple of interesting articles, first on the protests and situation:

2nd, when I was looking for the next game in Fortaleza (the games have been good for our apartment we’re renting out down there) and googled for it, this article about the prostitutes in Fortaleza complaining about clients from Mexico and Uruguay. You can google translate it, but in the title ‘porcos e pães duros’ is “pigs and hard bread”, and the final quote is from a girl waiting for the Germans to show up, since they have money and seem clean.

2 thoughts on “FIFA World Cup and Fortaleza

  1. peashoot

    Sounds like a complicated situation down there — pigs, hard bread and all! What’s the likelihood that all of the rebar, unfinished cement, etc. will actually be set and in place by the time the Cup’s over? Or did everything that was supposed to be done more or less make just in time? And what about the polishing that was done? What’s the likelihood that the shiny landscaping along the highways, around the stadiums (in Fortaleza and elsewhere), the general improvements at the airports, etc. will be maintained after the Cup concludes?

  2. Scott Mersy Post author

    They didn’t come close to finishing the terminal – it’ll be awhile. see for a list of all the stuff unfinished. The maintenance won’t likely continue. It was comical because it was clear how small the touch-ups were, yet they were doing them at (as usual) the expense of the locals who had to suffer the traffic and lines…


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