The most successful striker in a World Cup , Ronaldo has scored an own goal when he told a Reuters reporter last week that he was embarrassed about all the delays in the preparations for the World Cup, due to start two weeks on Thursday. That’s what Sports Minister, Aldo Rebello, told the press in what became a huge polemic debate this weekend in Brazil.

Quite frankly, although not exactly a PR coupe, I’m relieved that Ronaldo feels embarrassed by it. Imagine if he had said he was proud of all the shortcomings which have been relentlessly exposed by the media all over the world?! Only 2 out of the 12 stadiums were ready inside the agreed deadline, most of the parallel work – airports refurbishments, communications infrastructure and transport , among manny others – will either not be ready at all or have been abandoned altogether.

Ronado hugging the World Cup mascote

Ronaldo and the World Cup Mascote in better days

“It’s a pity because it is my country , the country I love and we shouldn’t be passing this sort of image to the world”, Ronaldo told the reporter. Member of the organising Committee (COL), Ronaldo should probably have chosen better worlds to express his anxiety/frustration/agony. But the truth of the matter is that Brazil’s troubled organisation of  the event have been so apparent and are causing so much revolt in the population that there is no amount of PR or good spin put into it that would make it look good. Some political commentators are speculating behind doors that the country will explode between the World Cup and Presidential Elections.

One of the most respected football commentators in Brazil, Juca Kfouri, was very brief and direct in his blog: According to him, Ronald had 3 reasons for his outburst: 1) exempt the local committee (of which he is a member): 2) Point the blame at the government and, by consequence 3) show his support for the opposition candidate of presidency Aecio Neves.

The president Dilma has also come up with a response that leaves a lot to be desired . “We will do the ‘Cup of the Cups’ without any underdog complex”, she said in a speech the  Youth Socialist Meeting. She was trying to divert the focus  and imply that unsatisfied people are suffering from not being 1st world citizens. I would laugh if it wasn’t so serious. The only way we can salvage all the mess and hope to realize a great Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio is to acknowledge our mistakes and correct them.

About Betise Assumpcao Head

Communicator, specialized in Media Relations, Reputation, Crisis Management, corporate or individual. I started as a Sports Journalist (7 years, Mains newspapers and magazines in Brazil) turned into World Wide Press Officer (Senna 1990/1994), been to Games in Barcelona Atlanta, London & Rio 2016. Italy, Germany & Brazilian World Cups.

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