2014 FIFA World Cup: Opening ceremony a flop show in Brazil
Sao Paulo: Comparisons are perhaps unfair but the opening ceremony of the World Cup highlight just why football should leave such events to the Olympics.
Jennifer Lopez at the World Cup opening ceremony. Pic/Getty Images.
Brazil organisers spent just short of £5million on a 45-minute show that was basically dancers in silly costumes parading around a trio of pop stars who were made totally obsolete by the appalling sound system in the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
It was a stark contrast to the spectacular shows staged at the Olympic opening ceremonies in Sochi, London and Beijing - but let us not forget that London’s budget was £27million while Sochi and Beijing are believed to be significantly higher.
And for a country where the level of public spending on the World Cup — £6.5billion and rising — has become a national scandal, it was no doubt the wisest policy to show some restraint.
For those in the stadium and the watching millions, the only solace was that FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff had decided to dispense with any speeches. So it was left to men on stilts dressed as trees, looking like something out of Lord of the Rings — that’s Ent-tertainment — and girls dressed as tulips to somehow convey arguably the most important moment in Brazil’s sporting history.