It comes as no surprise that protests, political satire, and two story tall graffiti murals still litter the streets of Brazil after months of unrest when you try to conceptualize the sheer amount of disregard for worker and fan safety, the complete neglect of public opinion, or staggering amount of money the Brazilian government has spent to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Because of this, Brazilians have reached their boiling points and outraged citizens have turned to many different forms of media in an attempt to expose the political injustices plaguing the country that followed the grossly questionable spending by the government for resources that were not even operational in time to fully support the World Cup. A giant depiction of a bulldozer sweeping away homes that rises across the headquarters of the civil police in Rio de Janeiro is dedicated to those who lost everything in the brutal eviction of the favela neighborhoods which cemented the infamous nickname “Favela World Cup.” The paintings of sick, hungry, crying and armed children that stretch on and on next to paintings of smiling politicians surrounded by bags of money and bloody soccer balls, speak volumes of the sentiments of the people surrounding the biggest sporting event in the world being held in their country of almost 199 million, where 15% of people live below the poverty line.
The months of backlash have not been forgiving, and Brazilian government officials are not the only ones that are feeling the heat of these criticisms. The FIFA board of commissioners seems to be in hot water after reports of upper level bribery concerning the 2022 Qatar World Cup, and past reports of match fixing at the South Africa 2010 World Cup continue to damage the credibility of the organization. FIFA officials continue to insist the games will be a success, but most of the world can’t help but grimace at their past mistakes and already tarnished promises. The massive unjustified spending in Brazil that potentially could have funded public education and medical reforms has prompted public opinion to shift drastically and caused current president Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating to plummet. The peoples’ change of attitude may play a key role in the voter turnout in the upcoming October election and provide fuel for those opposing the current president, as her credibility seems increasingly debatable. It seems the Brazilians cries for justice have not fallen on deaf ears, as international attentions grow and investigative reviews are launched into FIFA’s actions.
The Brazilian national team appeared calm and collected while they claimed their second victory in the tournament over Cameroon on Monday (4-1). Star striker Neymar and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said the team was progressing as they had hoped, however it still seems that nothing but a World Cup championship would be enough to settle the Brazilians’ current distaste as the 2016 Olympics scheduled to be hosted in Rio de Janeiro, which promises to bring its own set of unique challenges, inch closer and closer.