Fans from around the globe have congregated on the world-famous Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the 2014 World Cup tournament. VOA’s Brian Allen shows what it’s like to be a fan at the biggest soccer party of the year.
The World Cup — football, fans and all– is underway.
Step away from the giddy cheers and drunken revelry and hoarsely-sung national anthems, though, and peek into the favelas that ring Rio, Sao Paulo and many other major Brazilian cities.
Talk to their impoverished residents and you’ll get a very different take on the football and the festivities.
In Sao Paulo, not far from its gleaming skyscrapers and upscale buildings, kids in Moinho play soccer every day. With no toilets or running water, kids here learn early how to survive. In Moinho, there is no sign of the billions of dollars invested by the Brazilian government to organize the Cup.
VOA correspondent Nicholas Pinault reports on why not everyone in Brazil is jumping with joy over the World Cup.
Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the iconic attractions in Rio de Janeiro. Offering unparalleled views of the city, thousands of World Cup fans are ascending to the top each day, either to watch the games or just enjoy the sights.
VOA’s Brian Allen reports on the stunning vista of the city peak, and what it means for football fans:
Brazil wins and they go crazy in… Brooklyn?!
New York City has one of the largest populations of Brazilians and Brazilian-Americans in the United States (eastern Massachusetts has the largest). So no surprises that they were going bonkers in one neighborhood in Brooklyn Thursday when the Seleção opened their World Cup bid with a 3-1 victory over Croatia.
Check out the scene at this VOA photo gallery from photographer Adam Phillips.
Thanassis Stavrakis | AP
The 2014 World Cup kicked off yesterday with Brazil beating Croatia 3-1. But the game was not without controversy: Croatia alleges an early penalty that gave Brazil the lead shouldn’t have been called.
Speaking to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Croatia’s players could hardly hide their anger:
Dejan Lovren was judged to have fouled the Brazil striker Fred, resulting in a penalty. The Southampton defender was the most furious among Croatia players. “I can hardly hold back the tears,” he said. “Why don’t they just hand out the trophy to Brazil right away? Everything is going their way, everyone is saying they must win it, so why do we play then?
“The ref didn’t even speak English. I asked him why did he give the penalty and he just mumbled something. My team-mates tell me the same thing – how can you have an international ref who is officiating the opening match, but he doesn’t speak English and you can’t even speak to him?”