LIKE MANY TRULY MEMORABLE PARTIES, Rio’s World Cup celebrations look set to be a blast for everybody…except the hosts. As the world’s press whips itself into a frenzy over the forthcoming fiesta of beautiful beaches, beautiful butts, and the beautiful game, I’m getting the hell out of Rio de Janeiro before the first whistle blows.
With a day to go before kickoff, the city still looks like a construction site. Transport and building projects that were promised to be delivered in time for the Cup are months — if not years — away from completion. Attempts to throw a veil over the city’s horrific social problems have backfired, and violent shootouts between drug traffickers and “pacifying” units of military police have become a nightly occurrence.