Despite being less than two weeks away from the biggest fixtures of their careers, Rio’s street gangs are still woefully underprepared. That’s according to industry insiders who claim they have never seen such disorganised crime in over 30 years.
“Really they shouldn’t be taking this so lightly,” said President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff. “People are coming from all over the world and we need to show them we’re capable of hosting world class street crime. I fear that visitors may spend their whole holiday roaming the streets without being held-up even once.”
Critics are blaming a lack of street-level investment for the poor preparation. “To host really top class muggings and beatings you need a strong grassroots system. These days kids aren’t learning the fundamentals in their favelas. They see major robbery and corruption at government level and they want to move straight on to that. Enrolling in an economics and politics course doesn’t teach you even the basics of knife wielding or how to purse-snatch from the back of a moving moped.”
Investment in public infrastructure has also been lacklustre leading to a poor training environment for young thugs. With bus fares rising beyond the means of many street youths they are being denied entry to even the lowest levels of the the thievery ladder.
The citizens of Citizens of Rio have been voicing their concerns over the lack of preparation. “I really thought we could pull it off but I’m beginning to think we shouldn’t have bid for the games at all,” says Livia Capparelli. “In Mumbai they have gangs of kids who can strip a tourist to their underwear before they’ve gone through passport control. Now that’s how you run a world cup!”
Meanwhile, across the globe in Qatar where the cup will be held in 2022, preparations appear to be far more advanced, with a large family-based crime syndicate having been in place since the mid-19th century.