The 2014 Word Cup begins in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The opening ceremony takes place at the Arena Corinthians stadium in Sao Paulo, with Lopez and Pitbull performing.
Juliano Pinto, a 29-year-old paraplegic, makes the first kick of the 2014 World Cup while wearing a mind-controlled exoskeleton.
Neuroscientist Dr Miguel Nicolelis thanks the brain-machine-interface research team that helped him create the suit:
It was up to Juliano to wear the exoskeleton, but all of them made that shot. It was a big score by these people and by our science
The 2014 World Cup opening match between Brazil and Croatia produces a record 1.1 million unique viewers on the WatchESPN online streaming platform. On ESPN, the game attracts 4.435 million viewers and receives a 2.8 average rating, 49% and 55% higher than the 2010 opening match between South Africa and Mexico. It is the highest-rated and most-viewed World Cup opening match on record on ESPN and the fourth-highest-rated and fourth-most-viewed non-U.S. match.
Adobe predicts the 2014 World Cup to be the most talked-about sporting event on social media ever. The Adobe Digital Index monitors 69 million mentions of the World Cup across 230 countries and territories and finds 90% of the world has contributed to discussion, compared with 84% for the Sochi Olympics and 78% for the Super Bowl. According to the index, 59% of the social buzz for World Cup relates to admiration, joy, or anticipation for the event. However, Brazilians have a more negative view than others. with 42% of them expressing sadness, anger, or disgust.
FIFA says it has covered the entire $2 billion operational costs of the 2014 World Cup by selling television and marketing rights, and says the tournament’s operations will not incur further costs for Brazilian taxpayers. It says Brazil has invested 25.8 billion reais (6.92 billion pounds) in stadiums, airports, urban transport and other infrastructure improvements with one third being spent on new or renovated stadiums in 12 host cities. It says Brazil could have opted for eight or 10 stadiums rather than 12, but says infrastructure investment will benefit the country beyond the tournament.
John Oliver says on Last Week Tonight that FIFA pressured Brazil into allowing a ban on alcohol sales in soccer stadiums to be lifted during the 2014 World Cup, despite the ban being imposed to curb Brazil’s record of stadium violence, which is the worst in the world.
The amazing thing is here FIFA won. They successfully pressured Brazil into passing a so-called Budweiser bill, allowing beer sales in soccer stadiums. And at this point you can either be horrified by that or relieved that FIFA was not also sponsored by cocaine and chainsaws.
Christian Aid says Brazil will lose between $246 million and $530 million in foregone revenue due to tax breaks provided to 2014 World Cup sponsors including Johnson & Johnson, Budweiser and McDonalds.
The price of these tax breaks for corporate giants will be paid by people living in poverty in Brazil and that is obscene. Brazil is already one of the most unequal countries in the world. The millions that FIFA demands for its sponsors should be used for the benefit of Brazil’s many poor communities, not to enrich the already powerful.
An Israeli drone assists in the capture of a drug lord in Rio de Janeiro in the security buildup ahead of the 2014 World Cup. The Heron drone, outfitted by producer Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. with a heat-sensing camera, allows police to monitor drug lord ‘Little P’ at night and from outside visual and aural range. . Similar drones will offer crowd monitoring at the sporting mega-event.
Police in Sao Paulo deploy unarmed officers with three months of training in Brazilian jiu jitsu to patrol the city ahead of the 2014 World Cup. 140 officers of the ‘Tropa do Braço,’ or ‘Troop of Arms,’ patrol a 1,500-strong protest that ends in clashes resulting in 282 arrests. The tactic is inspired by French police, who confronted violent protests in Paris in 2005. According to a military police captain:
We want to use less aggressive resources. We hope that physical force alone contains the most agitated protesters.
FIFA finds more instances of copyright infringement related to the 2014 World Cup than it did a year ahead of the 2010 tournament. It says it has taken action against around 100 companies that don’t have permission to use the protected phrases. Most of the cases involve small local companies misunderstanding the rules of trademark use, and don’t require legal action.
A marketing official says FIFA and the local organizing committee have a responsibility to protect the sponsorship rights sold to 20 companies whose combined involvement is $1.4 billion in cash payments and services, such as Coca Cola, which is providing 5 million beverages, and Hyundai, which will deliver 1,400 vehicles to transport officials and teams in the 12 host cities.
President Dilma Rousseff signs a law allows sales of beer at soccer matches. The law covering the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup removes a ban on alcohol in stadiums that has been in place since 2003 to combat hooliganism, although state governors may still enforce the ban based on state legislation. Budweiser is a major World Cup sponsor. FIFA Vice President Jerome Valcke on a visit to the tournament host cities:
Alcoholic drinks are part of the Fifa World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate. The fact that we have the right to sell beer has to be a part of the law.
The Brazilian government launches an anti-fraud plan designed to protect workers during preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic games. The plan is known as Jogando Limpo (“Playing It Clean”) and is organized by the Ministry for Justice and Ministry for Sport. The program is designed to oppose cartels and possible agreements between competing companies which could raise the value of state contracts. Minister for Justice Barreto says:
Nothing can be worse than someone taking advantage of these two great opportunities to commit crimes. This is a world phenomenon.