Canadians Travel to Brazil for the 2014 Soccer World Cup

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Soccer ManiaMost Canadians would not call their homeland a place where soccer is particularly popular. Its popularity is increasing, though, and every World Cup more Canadians travel to the host country to enjoy the spectacle.


Canada will not be playing, after its 8-1 loss to Honduras in 2013. Still, while its team ranks at number 110 in the world, the country ranks at number 11 on ticket sales. In fact, if the sizes of the populations are included in the calculation, Canadians have bought more tickets than the United States, Germany and France, and they all have participating teams.

According to the general secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association, Canada was the top attending non-playing nation at the 2010 world cup in South Africa. (Gray, 2014). 

Advice:

  • If you want to go, you will have to have a visa . The maximum allowable period on the visa is 90 days, and you must present some event ticket print-outs and/or accommodation reservations to prove that you are a World cup tourist.

  • Airlines consider this as "high season", so your reward air miles may not get you as far as you think.

  • The world cup takes place between June 12 and July 13. There are 12 host cities over a huge geographical area, so budget for internal travel. Brazil does not have a long-distance railway, so you will travel by bus (Perkins, 2014). 

  • If you are traveling on a budget, pick one host city and catch all its games. Each city hosts at least four. Alternatively, you can travel between cities.

  • Remember that hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments usually realise last-minute that no one wants to pay their inflated world cup prices, so check the websites of your preferred accommodation regularly. If you do not yet have tickets, expect to pay thousands of dollars per ticket on re-sell sites.

  • The official FIFA website has guides on tourist activities in and around each host city. 

  • Health Canada warns that Brazil currently has more measles cases than previous years, and recommends that you ensure all your vaccinations are up to date. A yellow fever vaccination and malaria medication might also be advised, depending on your itinerary (Health Canada, 2014). Consult with your physician before you leave.

If you can afford it and you have recovered from Canada's elimination from the competition, enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to the fullest.