Protestors take to the streets not the stadium in Brasilia
BRASÍLIA (BDCi) – In anticipation of the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup opening game, not everything was pretty and organized in the Federal Capital of Brazil. Several protests, some violent, took the winds out of the sails of the tournament organizers and national government.
The major complaint of Brazilians was the high cost of staging the World Cup at the alleged expense of the public works, health and safety.
Local police, PATAMO, were called up to keep demonstrators from getting too close to the stadium as thousands of fans arrived for the inaugural match in the nation’s capital.
Due to the numerous confrontations and impending threat by the “manifestacoes”, a few tear gas bombs were thrown by the police to control the mob as they moved near the venue.
Juliana de Almeida Machado, was taken by the police after taking a beating by them. As she was put in the police car, she screamed “I am not a criminal; I am just a Brazilian asking for a better country”. Reporters could hear her scream for help and asked to notify her family.
Protesters carried banners saying that too much money was being spent on the Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup while the majority of the population continued to struggle.
According to undisclosed sources in the local federal bureaucracy, the building of the stadiums had major cost over-runs. They added that “Dilma, the president, is not worrying about the situation of her own people.”
The demonstrators chanted “vai embora FIFA!” or “Go away FIFA!” as they expressed irritation at the way the international organization has treated the country and the absurd demands made on Brazil.
Local lawyer Jean Cleber, told BDCi News that the country feels like ancient Rome where the masses were distracted by the competitions at the Colosseum and pacified with bread and circus to keep poverty off their minds.
“In Brazil’s case, to (use soccer to) keep the crowd from demanding a better life. This is a shame; this is our money that they used for these tournaments.”
To add insult to injury, most of the protestors also griped about “being excluded from the tournaments because of the high prices of match tickets.”
The match attracted only around 50,000 spectators to the new stadium, and a reported estimate of 70,000 were on the street watching the match on big screen near by the National Congress.