After the World Cup; Do we Abandon Brazil?

An iconic event in world cup history happened in this years semi finals. Germany annihilated the five time cup winners, Brazil, by an astonishing 7 goals to 1. And even more embarrassingly they did it on Brazil’s home turf. Amidst the Brazilian players and fans disappointment, turmoil has ripped through many of this wonderful country’s cities and towns. But is it just football that has caused this?
Right from the beginning of Brazil’s bid to host the 2014 world cup, the country has been split in half with lots of people wanting not to host the world cup, and the football heavy of the public (of which there are many in Brazil) welcoming the chance to have almost any football game or tournament held in their country. This was a recipe for disaster. After the bid was won and work started on preparing the stadiums for this major sporting event, it seems that the population that opposed the presence of FIFA and the world cup grew substantially.
Rioting and protests occurred throughout the whole world cup preparation process and grew in scale and seriousness after the cup had started. One of the worst ones being the initial fear on the opening day where Brazil faced Croatia. Many of the public where demonstrating around Copa Cabana beach and near the television studios; ITV’s studio came under fire with pebbles and stones being thrown up and cracking their windows. Many of the footballing pundits and news reporters questioned whether Brazil’s performance in their 3 to 1 win on that opening game was the country’s only saviour from more serious riots throughout the group stages. Maybe that did help settle things down for a short while. But not for too long.
This all came to a rather frightening point after Germany’s total annihilation of a once unbeatable Brazil team. The riots taking place on this night where some of the worst seen in a long time. It was reported that a total number of 11 buses where burnt to the ground and countless cars damaged that night and a rather unthinkable amount of civilian casualties. We as a public where being shown
scenes of violence and unpatriotic behaviour by our news channels; flags and Brazil shirts where being burnt and shredded and picket signs being held up in their plenty.
But is it just the teams lack of their usual footballing prowess that has caused this? Doubtful. Brazil in these hard economic times are struggling a lot. The government had raised taxes and cut numerous health and education budgets and benefits in the years before this world cup. Then announce an astonishingly priced world cup winning bid that would cost the country 25.8 billion R$ (approximately $11.3 billion). Not to mention the 16 billion dollar super speed highway that was supposed to be made, to join Rio De Janeiro to Sau Paolo. It seems then that Brazil are in public turmoil, not just for lack of skill in their team, but for a whole array of political issues.
All over social media, people are blaming these riots solely on Brazil’s performance not realising that the water runs a lot deeper than that. We also mustn’t forget how brilliant Germany played in this game. They won with absolute precision which is rarely getting a mention because a major loss is more exciting to the press and social media than a major win.
We can only hope now that this wonderful country is able to fix its troubles. And Sooner rather than later.

Liam Anthony


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