Brazil’s iconic Maracana Stadium is still a long way off completion after continuous set-backs and construction problems have seen the project overrun its proposed 2012 deadline. football markets are warming up with qualifications campaigns for the tournament well under way. With international football once again in focus due to a series of friendlies this week, including England’s clash with Sweden with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil just over 18-months away, it is exciting to think that the World Cup is only a little under 18 months away.

However, the Maracana, that will host the final., has again come under attack from locals after it was announced it would be privatised, with local businesses and public buildings now under threat of closure.

If plans go ahead to fully privatise the site, an indigenous museum and public school will be demolished, sparking furious protests from residents who have already endured a series of planning battles since Brazil won their World Cup hosting rights in 2007.

It is a disappointing yet all too common situation that local residents face when major sporting events descend upon their cities. Ahead of the 2010 World Cup, residents in South Africa’s Oukasie township protested over the extortionate amount of money spent on the tournament while large numbers of the country’s population struggle in poverty.

London was not immune to protests after it was revealed plans for the 2012 Olympic site in Stratford included the demolition of hundreds of residents’ homes and businesses, while local residents in Minneapolis are already concerned about tax rises after the Minnesota Vikings’ new $975m stadium proposal was given the green light.

Modernising the Maracana is crucial for Brazil hosting a successful tournament and the money generated from the stadium will benefit the economy greatly. However, upsetting residents during the construction period could leave a bitter taste in the mouth once the fans and tourists have left after the World Cup.

There must be a relationship between the governors and their residents to find a solution that does not simply wipe away the surrounding public area for private gain. Unfortunately, however, this may be a battle the locals cannot win.