News / Americas

On The Scene: Brazilian Protests Mar World Cup Day 1

Demonstrations Mar First Day of World Cupi
X
Scott Bobb
June 12, 2014 8:05 PM
The football World Cup began Thursday with a match between Brazil and Croatia. But opening day was marred by protests against the tournament. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Rio de Janeiro.
Scott Bobb
The football World Cup begins Thursday with a match between Brazil and Croatia. But opening day has been marred by protests against the tournament.
 
Downtown at Rio de Janeiro’s famed Candelaria church, two members of the Black Bloc protest group going by the names Rocky and Nica say the government, instead of spending $11 billion on football should have focused on social services.
 
School teacher Valeria Mattos says Brazil’s education system has deteriorated in recent years.
 
  • World Cup protesters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 12, 2014. (Brian Allen/VOA)
  • World Cup protesters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 12, 2014. (Brian Allen/VOA)
  • World Cup protesters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 12, 2014. (Brian Allen/VOA)
  • World Cup protesters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 12, 2014. (Brian Allen/VOA)
"We demand improvement in our school system.  We denounce the diversion of funds from education and culture that were meant for our work and our school materials," Mattos says.
 
Police in Sao Paulo used tear gas to disperse a similar demonstration by protestors. They say cronyism and corruption permeate Brazilian government.
 
In Rio a member of the Communist Party, Carlos Serrano, noted that many favelas and neighborhoods were destroyed for the World Cup.  This shows that the Cup is against the people, not for the people, he says.
 
"This is absolutely absurd and it’s why we’re having this mobilization," Serrano explains. "We're going to continue until the end of the Cup and, in Rio de Janeiro, beyond the Cup until 2016 when we have the Olympics which is a replica of the same logic."

The number of demonstrators has declined as football fever grips the nation. But the activists say they will carry on until things change in Brazil.

Brazil vs Croatia

Brazil opens the World Cup playing Croatia.  The host country is trying to win a record sixth World Cup title, and its first since 2002.

Other teams expected to challenge for the World Cup trophy include Argentina, defending champion Spain, and Germany, which has to first make it through the so-called "Group of Death."

The tournament is played in two stages.  The first lasts two weeks, with four teams in each of eight groups playing games against one another.  The top two teams in each group then move on to a single-elimination bracket, with a champion being crowned on July 13.

Germany, currently ranked second in the world by World Cup organizer FIFA, is in a group with fourth-ranked Portugal, the United States and Ghana, all of which made it to the round of 16 at the last World Cup in 2010.

Another tough group to watch is the only other to feature more than one top-10 team.  It pits seventh-ranked Uruguay against ninth-ranked Italy, 10th-ranked England and number 28 Costa Rica.

For more on World Cup 2014, check out our special site
 
Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Eric from: Scarboro
June 13, 2014 6:34 AM
There is a great Facebook page by Sipp Butter, president of FIFAFOOSLE which I think you'd enjoy.


by: Claudiomar from: Brasil-MG
June 12, 2014 3:29 PM
My opinion is the same. I am a Brazilian and I am revolted with this tournament too. The health and security here are not well. This money wasted with this tournament could be destinated to resolve several others problems.


by: Mark from: Virginia
June 12, 2014 1:48 PM
I am not a fan of soccer (football) and so I understand the side of the protesters...money spent on a sporting event that should have been spent on the citizens. If the government has that much money to spend building stadiums and the like for something that lasts a few weeks, imagine what it COULD have done to improve the lives of its people for years.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Hurricane Cristobal Kills Four, Moves Toward Bermuda

Storm is not expected to threaten US, but could cause deadly surf and rip currents from Florida to North Carolina
More

Peru's Congress Narrowly OKs Humala's New Cabinet on 3rd Vote

Lawmakers ratify president's embattled cabinet after ruling party offers to suspend rule requiring independent workers to pay into a pension program
More

Brazil's Deadly Prison Riot Ends

Officials say two inmates were beheaded during the Cascavel riot; two others were thrown to their deaths from the roof, and police are investigating how a fifth inmate died
More

Amid Slowdown, Chileans Adjust to New Economic Reality

Most economists now predict overall growth in country's economy of between 2.0 and 2.5 percent this year, down from 4.1 percent in 2013
More

Video Yiddish Tango Reflects Jewish Life in Argentina

Jewish people from Europe, Russia who have emigrated to Argentina for hundreds of years have fused klezmer and Argentine tango, creating Yiddish tango
More

Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Hits Peru

Peru's civil defense institute said there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage
More