Ph.D in Sociology, Professor of Sociology of sport at University Joseph Fourier (Grenoble, France). Head of the Faculty of Sport Sciences (2001-2006). - Visiting Professor at Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil): January-June 2008. - Visiting Professor at De Montfort University Leicester (UK): January-June 1996. Books: - Histoire du football au Brésil. Paris: Chandeigne, 2010. - L'Aventure himalayenne. Les enjeux des expéditions sur les plus hautes montagnes du monde, 1880-2000. Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble, 2003
The paradox of development through sports mega-events Contestation vs. consensus: Brazil 2014 / France 2016
Mega sporting events (Olympics, FIFA World Cup...) require infrastructures that correspond to strict specifications setup by the International Federations: number of seats, security, T.V broadcasting, etc. These heavy investments for Local Organizing Committees are also used as an argument for local development: fostering the employment, building or upgrading infrastructures. Then, these mega events became one of the stakes of global competition between nations, regions, territories and cities. Brazil and France will organize two major international football competitions: the Copa 2014 (32 nations) and Euro 2016 (24 nations). Stadiums are built or will be upgraded (12 stadiums in Brazil, 9 in France). These investments amounted to billions of dollars and produce different effects on the territories and local populations. However, beyond this common basis, the effects on local development and the perception of these investments are so different to point out one paradox. Indeed, in the country where football and carnival are religion, we observe a massive protest by local populations. In contrast, in the land of culture and sports activities, there have been scattered protests, worn by elite social groups (through legal actions). The country of football encounters many popular demonstrations against the relevance of enormous spending due to the Copa 2014, while in the country of culture, the population remains indifferent to investments of Euro 2016. In France protests are diverse and focus more on infrastructures and less on the event itself. The purpose of this communication is to understand this paradoxical difference between a southern country, belonging to the emerging BRICS, with a high economic growth, and a rich northern country where the economy is more developed, but where economic growth is threatened. Our hypothesis concerns a paradoxical difference between Brazil where football refers to a characteristic popular culture, and France, where it refers only to sporting entertainment industry. The aim of our paper is to discuss in-depth this paradoxical social phenomena.