World Cup pre-production | Do we really need another gala?

Charges of cronyism in ticket distributions seem the most disturbing to date, but the problem is certainly not unique to this World Cup. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad Express started reporting on CONCACAF president Jack Warner‘s involvement before Christmas last year. Warner appears to have corralled T&T’s ticket allotment so that his travel agency, Simpaul Travel Services Ltd., could bank big profits on package deals. Prime Minister Patrick Manning pledged to intervene, but some are skeptical about the outcome. T&T blogger Taran Rampersad shrugs his shoulders at the allegations: “Cronyism and Nepotism happen here all the time, right or wrong. And right or wrong is usually based on which dominant band of Cronys are running things, with a side order of Nepots.” What to do? Heading back to Berlin, the city fathers (or their sons, the glad-handing PR jockeys) have launched a smile offensive: 465 billboards will bear smiling Berliners, proclaiming, “Das schönste Lächeln fí¼r unsere Gäste” (The nicest smiles for our guests). It’s what one should expect from the Land der Ideen (Land of ideas).

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