Tags: Brazil | World Cup 2014

World Cup Upsets Focusing Fans on Football Over Brazil Protests

Image: World Cup Upsets Focusing Fans on Football Over Brazil Protests
Oscar Duarte heads the ball past Uruguay's goalkeeper Fernando Muslera for the go-ahead goal in Costa Rica's 3-1 upset victory on June 14.

Monday, 16 Jun 2014 10:39 AM

Visions of a World Cup punctuated by protests and violence in Brazil are fading as the highest scoring tournament in a half century wins over fans in the first four days of matches.

The first 11 games of the 2014 World Cup included five come-from-behind wins, upsets of defending champion Spain and No. 7-ranked Uruguay and no ties. The 37-goal spectacle took the edge off of public outrage over white elephant stadiums burdening public coffers and failed urban infrastructure projects, concerns that fueled Brazil’s biggest demonstrations in two decades.

While protestors have continued to denounce the event’s $11 billion cost, unrest was eclipsed by celebrations in Sao Paulo’s Vila Madelena neighborhood after the national team came back to beat Croatia 3-1. Argentines flooded into Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach to watch Lionel Messi play at the Maracana stadium. The momentum even prompted a rebuttal by President Dilma Rousseff three days after she was jeered by Brazil fans at the opener, warning World Cup naysayers not to confuse politics with soccer.

“Four days before the World Cup, there was an enormous concern over protests in the streets, but the atmosphere is changing,” said Marcos Troyjo, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, in a phone interview from Rio de Janeiro. “We’re north of 30 goals scored and there have been a number of surprises. The matches are good, the stadiums look great on TV, and the level of discontent voiced on the streets at least in the past two days has been toned down. The World Cup is landing.”

There have been 3.4 goals per match since the World Cup began on June 12. If the ratio is sustained throughout the month-long tournament, it’d be the highest average since the 1958 event in Sweden.

Highlights include a diving header by Netherlands forward Robin van Persie to help defeat Spain, which beat the Dutch in the 2010 final in South Africa, and Costa Rica’s three goals to upset higher-ranked Uruguay.

Teachers demanding better salaries were among 150 protesters that marched on Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasilia yesterday, chanting songs against Rousseff’s handling of the World Cup. They were outnumbered by police monitoring the march.

A few hundred protesters marching on Rio’S Maracana stadium with signs reading “FIFA Go Home” were met by military police officers, who used stun grenades to disperse the crowd, local newspaper O Globo reported.

The Associated Press reported it has a video allegedly showing a Brazilian police officer firing what appears to be a live pistol round at protestors near the stadium. The state security secretariat’s press office told Bloomberg News it’s been alerted to the video and will investigate the officer if confirmed. The police’s shock battalion responded to protestors throwing molotov cocktails by deploying pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets, the secretariat said in an e-mail statement.

In the beach-front city of Fortaleza, taxi driver Josivan Freitas, 46, waited for customers at the seafront near a group of Mexico fans. The city hosted the Costa Rica-Uruguay game and will hold Brazil’s match against Mexico on June 17.

“There has been some mindless violence with the protests,” he said. “But now it’s time to enjoy soccer.”

While work on Brazil’s airports remained unfinished as the World Cup started, that hasn’t yet caused problems for fans crisscrossing the country to attend games in 12 cities from Manaus, the capital of northern state of Amazonas, to Porte Alegre, in Brazil’s South. Yesterday, a group of Chilean fans chanted for their team as they waited at a luggage carousel in Rio’s Galeao airport. Nearby Argentines responded with songs of their own.

Rousseff said the mood shift reminded her of when she watched the 1970 World Cup while imprisoned by Brazil’s military dictatorship. The advance of Brazil’s national team in that event began winning over fellow inmates who had refused to support the squad because they expected victory would only strengthen the military regime, she said.

“Brazil’s team represents our nationality,” she said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. “It is above governments, political parties and interests of any groups.”

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheAmericas
The first 11 games of the 2014 World Cup included five come-from-behind wins, upsets of defending champion Spain and No. 7-ranked Uruguay and no ties. The spectacle took the edge off of public outrage that fueled Brazil’s biggest demonstrations in two decades.
Brazil, World Cup 2014
684
2014-39-16
Monday, 16 Jun 2014 10:39 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved