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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Planning Post-2015 Development

UNDP official calls for investing in people
More

Magnitude 6.3 Quake hits Mexico, No Major Damages, Injuries

Earthquake hit southwest of Juan Rodriguez, in eastern Mexican state of Veracruz at a depth of 95 km (60 miles), the US Geological Survey says
More

California Governor on 3-day Trade Trip to Mexico

With immigration facilities bursting at the seams, Jerry Brown says child migration is on the agenda during his trade visit
More

UN Sanctions Operator of N. Korean Ship Caught Smuggling Arms

North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang was detained a year ago carrying arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tons of sugar
More

Argentina Seeks to Avoid 2nd Debt Default in 13 Years

Argentina says it will make another effort to reach a deal with a group of US creditors
More

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surge

Inaccurate claims suggest US will give amnesty to young migrants
More