I love football. I was therefore considering to attend the World Cup in Brazil. However, after doing some research I decided not to go. Instead, I went to Brazil a few months after the World Cup ended. Did the event have negative consequences?
Living in Bolivia, my husband and I were thinking seriously about travelling to Brazil for the World Cup. Since the cup was arranged so close to where we live, in the neighbour country, we saw this as an opportunity. Furthermore, we both love football. However, after doing some research we decided not to go. Furthermore, we talked to several Brazilians about the issue. None of them supported that the World Cup was going to be hosted in their own country. Their reasons where the same as ours for not to attend, and here they are:
- We were thinking that the money spent on the event was desperately needed elsewhere.
- We knew that the world cup would increase the demand in the child sex trafficking industry.
- We read that thousands of people were forced to relocate against their will.
- We heard that the indigenous people were experiencing reservation reductions.
- We were told that people could not afford to live in their own homes, due to rise in rent
- We heard that the government tried to hide the poor sites of the country from the tourists. Building big walls outside the slums. However, the people in the slums as poor as they are, took the bricks and used it for construction on their own houses.
- We knew that very few Brazilians could afford attending the football matches. As the tickets were very expensive.
- We read that the police brutality was rampant.
- We saw that the citizens’ basic human rights were being infringed upon.
- We heard that the police bribed the leaders of gangs for not do criminal activities during the cup.
- We predicted that the million dollar stadiums they were building would just be used for the World Cup. Later on, many of the stadiums would never be used again.
That being said, a few months later after the World cup, I visited Sao Paulo. When I was there I was thinking, was it right of me to boycott the world cup? How is Brazil after the world cup? Did it affect many Brazilians as bad as we were afraid of beforehand?
I do not have anything to compare with. I have only been a short time in Brazil before. In addition, as I visited right after the cup, it was maybe too early to say.
But what I did see, was new build, but empty stadiums.
I saw more homeless people than I have ever seen in any other city I have visited in the world.
I got to hear that due to the rent that had risen to finance the constructions of new stadiums, many people could not afford their rent. And were forced to move. Many also struggled due to the rise in price of public transportation.
I observed that the slums are still there.
I saw that my hotel was almost empty. So were many other new build hotels. There were almost no tourists left in the city.
Furthermore, I talked to a photographer that had been physically beaten by the police laying down, due to that he was taking photos of a protest and violent clash related to the world cup. He was taking these pictures for another photographer that was put in prison.
So, after seeing this I do not regret not visiting the World Cup in Brazil 2014. Though, I think it could have been a fun experience for me as a western. But still, my love for people is greater than my love for sports.