Showtime in Brazil but woes sap hopes behind sport extravaganzas (Reuters)

FILE - This April 11, 2013 file photo, shows the new rooftop of the Maracana Stadium, which is undergoing renovations in preparation for the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.   The action at the Confederations Cup will be going from the nation's capital to the coastal cities in the northeast to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Six cities will stage matches at the World Cup warm-up tournament from June 15-30, with the capital of Brasilia hosting the opener in a new stadium and the renovated Maracana Stadium holding the final on June 30.(AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

By Paulo Prada RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – All but diehard fans of international soccer could be forgiven for not knowing, much less caring, about the Confederations Cup, a two-week tournament that kicks off in Brazil on Saturday. For 200 million Brazilians, though, the competition is the first in a series of big events that will say a lot about their country, their first-world ambitions and the government’s ability, amid fading confidence in Latin America’s biggest economy, to deliver on the promise of a Brazil transformed. …

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