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Surprise, Surprise: Brazil 2014 Is Behind Schedule

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The "Surprise, Surprise" part is not meant to mock Brazil 2014's efforts; rather, it's meant to make light of how predictable this is:  A trite story deriding a country's preparations, the subtext bemoaning why they got the event in the first place.  

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We heard the same story in 1998.  We're still hearing the stories about South Africa, and Euro 2012 is plagued with these reports as they concern Ukraine and Poland.

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And along with these stories will come a Greek chorus bludgeoning us with the subtext:  The World Cup should be moved.  And when a move is suggested, it's always to Germany, the United States, or a similarly safe place.

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Unless the World Cup is being held in the "western" world, people are going to be incredulous.  There was skepticism in 2002 (Japan/Korea), but not 1998 (France).  People are still harping on South Africa, but never a cringe around Germany (2006).  

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This applies to future finals, too.  My perceptions of the coverage (the coverage we get) surrounding the 2018 bids:  England rules and the lack of stadia is not an issue.  Russia sucks and the lack of stadia is debilitating.

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And now there's 2014.  Even though that championship will return to a place that's already held a final (granted, over sixty years ago), we may be in for four years of complaining about a develop country's preparations, opportunistic suggestions that the Cup should be moved, yet little introspection, wondering about the pattern:  2006, 1998 and to a lesser extent 1994 - fine; 2002, 2010, and 2014 - trouble.

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Western, western, western.  Eastern, Africa, South American.

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Before I get to dogmatic about this (as if I'm already not?), the skeptics have sufficient reason to doubt as Steven Goff at Soccer Insider notes:

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While final preparations are being made in South Africa, FIFA is raising concerns about the next event. Secretary General Jerome Valcke told Globo Esporte in Brazil:

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"I have received some reports on the stadiums and that does not look good at all. It's incredible how Brazil is running late ... all the stadiums. Many of the deadlines have already expired and nothing happened. Very little has been done, it is time to act. ... People questioned the World Cup in Africa a lot, but Brazil is showing that it is also very difficult to hold one there."

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However, he ruled out replacing Brazil as host.

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Goff says no more about the Brazil event, responsibly letting Valcke's quote stand on its own.

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Perhaps I've become too sensitive after reading story-after-story ripping into South Africa's ability to host a World Cup.  Maybe I'm reaching - seeing a tide of descent form, a wave may never hit the shore.

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People can note "Germany was prepared" by objective standards, as was United States and France.  South Africa and Brazil did not meet, have not met benchmarks.  Yet, South Africa going to happen.  What does that tell you about the benchmarks' ability to predict whether an event will go off?

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The World Cup in South Africa is going to happen, just as Japan/Korea did and Brazil will, and I really do not want to spend four years deleting stories saying that it shouldn't.