Rolling Stone: The Great Divide in Brazilian Soccer

Rolling Stone magazine goes in deep to investigate the roots of violence in Brazilian soccer.

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So here’s the picture we’re getting>>

The Great Divide separating the middle class and the poor is too big a chasm and it is not being bridged (Bolsa Familia isn’t enough).

Note Paulo’s words: “The World Cup isn’t for me, or him, or him… It’s for the middle classes and the tourists. And they’re using it to squeeze us out.”

SoccerBlog.com learned recently that the new and “improved” Maracana makes no place for the poor. The “standing room” areas – the space reserved for the poor – are gone, by design.

More from the article:
During the Confederations Cup last June, respected journalist Juca Kfouri wrote a widely-read column for a Sao Paulo daily paper, “They Whitened Our Soccer,” about the homogenizing effect that rising prices are having on the ethnic make-up of Brazilian soccer crowds, as poorer fans, who tend to be people of color, are priced out. 

The cycle of violence isn’t likely to be broken, because the social divisions within Brazil are, in turn, reflected in Brazilian football. Watch this madness (or don’t):

BTW, violence isn’t just a “global-south” thing. Here’s England vs. Ireland!

Sepp Blatter would rather not read the Rolling Stone article, but he should.  And FIFA should donate half their profits (will it be $2 or 3 billion?) to the Brazilian poor for schools and scholarships. Maybe it’s time for FIFA to really give back  to the communities that have made the sport what it is.

I just hope the police in Brazil know how to control crowds without adding to the mayhem. And, in case you were thinking that it’s all the fault of the “lawless poor,” read this.  I’m not sure about the “love hotel” accommodations, tho. 

Here’s to a peaceful World Cup.

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