News / Arts & Entertainment

Fans in Rio Favela Celebrate Brazil World Cup Qualification

Fans in Rio Favela Celebrate Brazil World Cup Qualificationi
X
June 24, 2014 9:27 PM
Every time Brazil’s national team plays in the football World Cup, normal life in the country comes to a halt. In rich neighborhoods or in poor ones, people gather together to watch the action. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Tavares Bastos, a poor community built on a hill overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
Scott Bobb
Every time Brazil’s national team plays in the football World Cup, normal life in the country comes to a halt.  In rich neighborhoods or in poor ones, people gather together to watch the action. 

Tavares Bastos is a poor community built on a hill overlooking Rio de Janeiro’s famous Flamengo beach.  Football is part of life for residents of this once informal settlement, or favela, perched above some of the most expensive real estate in the hemisphere.
 
Life's daily routine freezes for two heart-stopping hours while the Brazilian team plays a World Cup match.  Everyone, including local fan Andre Luiz Rodriguez, is an expert on the team.
 
“In fact, they are good," he said. "But they are not playing ball ... as well as they need to.  They can play much better.  The other teams all have the potential to compete in the final.”

Football can also be the ticket out of the grinding poverty of neighborhoods like this, where most people work for minimum wage or in the informal economy.  A local son, Paulo Cesar, has made it and now plays for Flamengo, one of the top professional teams.
 
Some of these neighborhoods, known as favelas, are dens of drug trafficking and violence.  But others, with the help of police and neighborhood watch groups, are turning themselves into peaceful, family-oriented communities.
 
Almost 40 million poor Brazilians in the past decade have moved into the middle class.  But Brazilians say consumerism and corruption have driven up prices and survival is still a struggle.

“I know that Brazil is [a] country of corruption with a population of fools that allow it to happen," said fan Rodriguez. "But I think Brazil has much more than this.  This is a minority.  It is not just about corruption.”
 
A missed goal and the crowd groans. The team needs to work on its offense, says Paulo Vitor Araujo Guimaraes.
 
“The attack [offense] of the team is ok but lacks creativity and follow-through," he said.  "But the spirit is good.  The only thing lacking is the scoring.”
 
As for who is going to win the World Cup, Gabriella Souza and Jozi Santos know for sure.
 
“Brazil,” said Souza.

“Brazil," Santos said. "Today, it is going to win 3-0… Yeah, 3-0…”
 
The game ends and Brazil has qualified for the second round, winning 4-1 over Cameroon.  Not its best performance.  But the fans are happy.  The party begins.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

At Washington’s Blues Alley jazz singer Jane Monheit and her quartet perform songs made famous by Judy Garland. Monheit sits down with "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten to talk about her music, the singers who influence her, and her life traveling with family on tour.