A quick interlude in the mass of NBA lockout posts which I have been firing off for the last week or so.
The schedule for the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil was announced awhile back, and I had meant to discuss it, as it has some potential implications for the competition itself. The schedule is quite arduous for some teams, with great travel distances between matches, some teams (and their fans) will be required to travel over 2,000 miles between matches. What makes this even more difficult is that it will be Winter in Brazil, so in the South of the country teams will be facing near freezing temperatures and possibility of snow, while in the North them will have around a 30 degree (Fahrenheit) difference in temperature. Though we are already worrying about the 2022 Qatar World Cup because of the heat that teams will face, the World Cup in Brazil does not look to be a walk in the park by any means.
Brazil itself is not immune to the great travel distances, as it was decided that the team should play in as many regions as possible, with a total travel distance in the group stage of over 3,000 miles (over 6,000 km). This means lots of travel time for the team, drastic temperatures and playing conditions between matches. I wonder how much this scheduling will cause problems for teams in terms of the ability to play on-field after such travels, as well as the ability to get fan support to follow the teams on long flights all over the country. Or, if one wanted to travel by road, there would be 3,500 mile journey through the Amazon jungle. The big thing to note is that not all teams have to travel as far in the group stages, the teams picked into the H1 and G1 group spots have the need to travel less than a 1,000 kilometers between all their group stage matches, and will see relatively little changes in the climate.
For fans with not much money, this World Cup might just be off limits because of all the travel needing to be done within Brazil. For teams, they better get comfortable traveling a lot. Of course if you play one game in the snow, and another in the warm climate, how do you prepare for this in training camp before the World Cup?