Jun 22, 2013, 10:52 AM EDT
FIFA’s Confederations Cup resumes today in Brazil, but the hot talk will not be restricted to soccer and things happening on the field.
The protests that have threatened to unhinge the country could become toxic to the tournament, as well.
FIFA spokespeople on Friday were forced to issue denials amid reports in Brazil that the rest of the tournament could be canceled. “Neither FIFA nor the local organizing committee have ever discussed the possibility of cancelling the tournament,” a spokesman told the BBC. “There are currently no plans to discuss it. These reports are pure speculation.”
Massive protests involving more than 1 million Brazilians, according to reports, have taken place throughout the country, including the two cities where games will take place today.
In Salvador, Brazil and Italy meet in a match that will decide which teams advances as the group winner and who goes in as No. 2. Both teams are already assured passaged into the tournament semifinals.
That city was the site of one of Thursday’s massive protests, and more of the same is expected today around the match.
Japan and Mexico, also-rans in the group that includes Brazil and Italy, meet in Belo Horizonte’s Estadio Mineirao. Police in that city fired rubber bullets and tear gas bombs at protesters, who were attempting to breach FIFA’s secure areas around the host stadium.
The protests are not about soccer, per se, but spending on the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics became a flashpoint for the demonstrations.
The demonstrations over corruption, ineffective government, the dismal state of education and public services, have even conspired to put the country’s national country’s obsession with soccer into a twist. None other than Pele, generally beloved in the land and generally known as the greatest player ever, has even found himself dragged under in public opinion.
This story in the The Nation says the Brazilian government has already spent $13.7 billion World Cup-related projects, with the overall investment scheduled to grow to around $16.5 billion. Compare that to the annual national budget for education (around $19 billion) and it’s not difficult to see where the Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for next year’s much bigger World Cup, would be caught in the middle of the county’s suddenly awakened social unrest.
Jul 3, 2015, 9:35 PM EDT
For the second straight Copa America tournament, Peru has left with a third place finish.
Jul 3, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT
Three second half goals led to an easy win for the USMNT, as the Gold Cup is now just four days away.
Jul 3, 2015, 8:21 PM EDT
Deemed as excess talent by their Premier League clubs, Nani and Lukas Podolski are headed to the Turkish Super Lig.
Jul 3, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT
With Queens Park Rangers relegated to the Championship, the club wants to get top dollar for star striker Charlie Austin.
Jul 3, 2015, 6:34 PM EDT
Pride is on the line as Peru and Paraguay look to take home third place at the 2015 Copa America.
Jul 3, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT
Anelka now a manager? Oh how times have changed…
Jul 3, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Women’s players can get representation from FIFPro for the first time in the continued fight for equality.
Jul 3, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
The West Midlands club released a statement today that new ownership should be in place “by the end of this month.”
Jul 3, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT
Fiorentina has lawyered up as the Chelsea winger has reportedly refused to return to the club on another loan.
Jul 3, 2015, 2:36 PM EDT
Three suggested lineups for Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of the USA vs. Guatemala on Friday.
Jul 3, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT
Martunis’ incredible story will now continue in Lisbon.
Jul 3, 2015, 12:53 PM EDT
Analyzing where the final in Santiago on Saturday will be won and lost.
Jul 3, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT
Another day, another healthy dollop of gossip from around the Premier League.
Jul 3, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Get ready for some PL action under the lights on a Friday night. Well, one game on a Friday, at least.
Slaven Bilic called “The Special One,” accused of disrespect after West Ham’s Europa League qualifier
Jul 3, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
Hammers boss is, well, hammered, for not standing in the dugout in a Europa League qualifier.
Jul 3, 2015, 9:10 AM EDT
“El Tigre” has landed with the reigning Premier League champs. Good business from Mourinho?
Jul 3, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
The second half of the MLS season kicks off Friday night. We’ve got four must-watch games for all to see.
Jul 3, 2015, 8:40 AM EDT
Fans of the Citizens and Les Parisiens get ready for a summer of big spending…
Jul 3, 2015, 7:45 AM EDT
Biden’s love for soccer continues to grow, as a presidential delegation is heading to Vancouver.
Jul 2, 2015, 11:47 PM EDT
“Come for the game, stay for the fireworks show afterwards!”
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