News / Americas

Despite Protests, World Cup Excitement Building in Brazil

Despite Protests, World Cup Excitement Building in Brazili
X
June 10, 2014 12:06 AM
With days to go until the start of football’s (soccer’s) World Cup tournament, excitement is building in host country Brazil. This, despite a transit strike in Sao Paulo, the site of the opening match, and social discontent in parts of the country. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Rio de Janeiro.
Scott Bobb
With days to go until the start of football’s (soccer’s) World Cup tournament, excitement is building in host country Brazil.  This, despite a transit strike in Sao Paulo, the site of the opening match, and social discontent in parts of the country.

Copacabana beach, on the last Sunday before the World Cup.  Families, beachgoers and fitness lovers are strolling Copacabana’s famous seaside promenade.
 
Work is finishing up on the fan park where thousands will gather during the matches. An estimated 800,000 foreign visitors will join millions of Brazilians to watch 64 matches in 12 cities around the country.
 
The excitement is building, says seamstress Teresa Christina, although it was slow to start because there is a lot of popular discontent.

“There is, but it’s relative. There’s a lot of disbelief because there’s a lot of violent crime," she said. "They say there’s no money for certain social needs yet there’s money for the Cup. Of course there should be a World Cup but there should be money for other things. But people need some fun, too.”
 
The run-up to one of the world’s greatest sporting events has been marred by social protests over corruption and a lack of social services. A transit strike in Sao Paulo, which is hosting Thursday’s opening match, has disrupted traffic for days.
 
The government has budgeted $11 billion for stadium and infrastructure construction. But people complain about poor public services, low pay and the high cost of living. 

Rio resident Alexandre Oliveira says these problems run very deep.

“I think in these 30 days, the Cup is not really going to help," he said. "It’s more people’s mentality that will determine what happens afterwards. Maybe with the [national] elections at the end of the year [October], things will change. But these 30 days are just a seed being planted.”
 
Foreign visitors seem aware of the situation. Newlyweds Anne-Kathrin Hattels and her husband, Lasse, have come from Denmark for their honeymoon. They say they understand the anger over the high cost of the Cup.

 “I kind of agree with that but it [the Cup] also brings a lot of tourists to the country, so they will get money from it. I know they spend a lot, but they also get a lot,” Anne-Kathrin said.
 
The protesters say they want to use the World Cup to press for change. Others say they prefer to showcase the good side of the country, its culture and its people. Many say they just want to have fun.
 
  • An aerial view of a training session of England's national soccer team at the Urca military base near Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 9, 2014.
  • Mexico's national soccer player Javier Hernandez kicks the ball during a training session in Santos, Brazil, June 8, 2014.
  • Security personnel sit in the stands and watch the Netherlands soccer team during a training session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 8, 2014.
  • Brazil's national soccer team player Oscar controls the ball during a training session at the Granja Comary training center in Teresopolis, Brazil, June 8, 2014.
  • Kids play soccer at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 8, 2014.
  • An aerial view of the Maracana stadium during sunset in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 8, 2014.
  • A dog wears a jersey in the colors of Brazil's soccer team outside Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 7, 2014.
  • The Metropolitan Cathedral is illuminated in Brazil's national colors in honor of the upcoming World Cup, in Brasilia, Brazil, June 6, 2014.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Outlook Mixed After TPP Talks End

No deal was reached at what was intended to be the concluding round last week in Hawaii; Elections are approaching in Canada, US
More

Mexican Journalists Protest After Colleague's Killing

Activists say 34 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992, making it the 10th deadliest country for reporters
More

Canada’ Harper Dissolves Parliament, Calls Early Poll

Prime Minister, his Conservative party are seeking fourth term in office after nearly decade in power; election set for October 19
More

Mexican Journalist Found Dead After Receiving Threats

Ruben Espinosa worked for investigative magazine 'Proceso,' which said his sister identified his body Saturday
More

Looting in Venezuelan Market Leaves One Dead, Dozens Hurt

Violence ensues after shoppers seeking scarce consumer staples break into a supermarket warehouse in Ciudad Guayana
More

Bomb Hurled at Former Brazilian President Lula's Foundation

Institute, located in downtown Sao Paulo, says no one was hurt in Thursday night explosion that damaged a garage entrance, calling blast a 'political attack'
More