The people of Brazil are doing what the people of England (2012), South Africa (2010,) China (2008), Greece (2004), and Australia (2000) should have done when their countries held mega sports events. Protest! Good for the Brazilians!
The latest news coming from Brazil: protestors of world cup spending have met the Brazilian national team not with adulation and worship, but with anger. The team couldn’t even make it from the airport to their training facility in Rio without encountering a rowdy group of protestors who plastered the bus with anti-world cup stickers. When the team left the hotel in Rio, they again had to run a gauntlet of protests.
I imagine that the government of Dilma Rousseff is praying that once the tournament actually begins, the Brazilian people will gather ’round the television with family and friends and concentrate their energies on rooting for the home squad instead of plotting mayhem and mischief. And indeed that may happen. Football is a religion in Brazil and the fact that these protests are occurring in what is maybe the most football-mad country in the world shows us how deep the discontent goes.
This is a very important story to follow. The protests in Brazil over the world cup and olympics, resulting from extravagant spending, corruption, hubris and incompetence, will shine a bright spotlight on these wasteful and meaningless mega sporting events, which serve only to line the pockets of a few stars and advertisers while predictably distracting the population from the systemic problems facing their economies.