No Joy in Mudville. Or Moinho.

World Cup Party Passes By Brazil’s Poor

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.


From Sao Paolo to Brooklyn

Os fãs do futebol de Seleção em Brooklyn

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.

Croatian Player: Just Give the Trophy to Brazil

Croatian players were outraged over what they thought was an unjustified penalty.

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?”

Was the ref’s call justified? Or are the claims of favoritism for Brazil true? Tell us below, on Facebook, and on Twitter.