Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | Calen Carr | World Cup | Brazil

Ex-soccer Pro Carr: World Cup Will Outshine FIFA Problems

Friday, 13 Jun 2014 09:30 PM

By Sean Piccoli

The grass is patchy on brand new soccer fields; protesters and police are clashing in the streets. But the FIFA World Cup should outshine its difficulties in host country Brazil and the awful reputation of its corporate parent, a retired MLS soccer player told Newsmax TV on Friday.

"You have to trust 'The Beautiful Game,'" former Houston Dynamo forward Calen Carr told "Midpoint" host Ed Berliner in a preview of the great quadrennial contest for global soccer bragging rights.

Carr, joined by lawyer and former sportscaster Bram Maravent, agreed the background noise surrounding the 20th FIFA World Cup could be deafening. The tournament kicked off Friday amid social unrest that spurred questions about the safety of locals, athletes, and visiting fans alike.

Story continues below video.

Said Maravent, "In Brazil, you have a country that's spending $11 billion on the soccer infrastructure," adding, "When there are people that are suffering in poverty, it's very difficult for an ordinary citizen to even understand that."

And then there's FIFA, an organization so renowned for greed, power, and scandals it's become an international joke.

"It's a culture of excess," said Carr. "The [World Cup] trophy itself — if that's not symbolic: $10 million, it travels around in a Louis Vuitton case, and just outside [in Brazilian cities] there's crime-ridden favelas.

"A lot of the Brazilian national team players come from those places, so it's important and fair of them to ask what happens to the kids who aren't able to dribble their way out of poverty," said Carr. "And some of those questions are being asked right now."

Rumors of match-fixing also trail the Cup to Brazil. FIFA is sitting on an internal report that past matches were likely fixed by bribed referees, according to The New York Times.

Carr said match-fixing phobia concerns him less than FIFA's conduct as the all-powerful — and tax-exempt — franchise owner.

"Brazil had a ban on beer in the stadiums for safety reasons," he said. "FIFA obviously has a huge corporate sponsor in Budweiser. That ban is suddenly lifted, and they basically play by their own set of rules and really take nothing into account. And the real question is what are they leaving behind."

Maravent said it's one thing for a developed country such as the United States to agree to take on a global sporting event and agree to an organizing committee's demands as a condition of hosting.

"They [already] have the infrastructure in place," he said. "But when South Africa or, even to take a recent example, Sochi — they built all these things for the [Winter] Olympics [in Russia] — it does create an economic problem, and kind of a tug of war between those who don't have and the governments who are spending all this money."

For all that, Carr and Maravent both said Brazil — the team — is still a favorite to win the Cup. They both expressed hope that a much lower-ranked U.S. team can at least get through Round One.

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Robert Gates: US Has Unrealistic Goals on ISIS, Russia

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 12:54 PM

Though the United States and its allies have made steps to control the Islamic State (ISIS), they are not winning the ba . . .

Paul Ryan: Looking for 'Common Ground' on Tax Reform

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 12:39 PM

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan stressed one thing over and over when it comes to working with the Whi . . .

Mike Huckabee: As a Christian, I Can't Just 'Evolve' on Gay Marriage

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 11:03 AM

Former Arkansas governor and recently retired Fox News host Mike Huckabee said he hasn't changed his personal conviction . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved