The Brazilian passion for futebol

has cooled down lately. Especially the excitement of hosting the Worldcup which was supposed to be the achievement of the modern, rising & growing Brazil has all but disappeared.

The preparations for the Worldcup have so effectively exposed some underlying weaknesses – corruption, mismanagement and incompetence, that some wish it would never have come to their country in the first place. During conversations in recent weeks, many Brazilian friends left no doubt that they’d prefer Brazil losing the Worldcup for fear that if the seleção won, it should be reinterpreted as a belated justification for all the expenses.

As a German, I would of course love to see Germany winning the tournament, but witnessing Brazilians turning so harshly against their own country and finding only faults in it or problems were none are, pains me. Last week, after two very cold nights with minimum degrees reaching -2°C, a newspaper commented on the temperatues with “Imagina na copa…” As if hosting the games during Winter & raining season had been the decision of the government that Brazilians  now ought to apologise for.

And while no crime, no displacement, no floundering of public resources is justified by the preparations of the cup, I still look forward to watching futebol and to enjoy the sport.  And I hope that Brazilians will be able to do this too.

Because after all, football is a democratic sport bringing old and young out into a field where skin color, social class or job title are forgotten for a while. No matter if it’s next to the road, on an empty field by the village, on the beach or on a nice green pitch, football brings passion, brings enthusiasm, brings laughter & joy.

The Fifa might be selling out football, but that should not harm the sport itself. So instead of falling in with the lamenting, I recommend this photo series from the BBC that shows the beauty of it all:

Fullscreen capture 682014 44436 PM

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