As preparations for World Cup continue, “apartheid” looms in Brazil’s soccer stadiums as critics make note of the whiteness of fans in stadiums

Fans at a recent Confederations Cup game in Brazil
Fans at a recent Confederations Cup game in Brazil

Note from BW of Brazil: As preparations for the 2014 World Cup continue in the face of recent protests, critics who have taken in the recent Confederations Cup games in Brazil have brought to the fore the overwhelming European appearance of soccer fans in the stands. The Confederations Cup is a tournament hosted by the World Cup hosting country as a sort of warm up for the larger World Cup. This blog has consistently shown how the “dictatorship of whiteness” reigns supreme in so many areas of Brazilian society. As such, should it really come as any surprise that that another form of “apartheid” should be visible in the game that is said to unite the nation?

Gil criticizes overwhelming “whiteness” of fans in Conferations Cup and proposes ticket quotas

by Folhapress

During a press conference in which the main purpose was to publicize the release of his biography, Gilberto Bem Perto, ended up touching upon to several themes, the singer Gilberto Gil criticized, on the afternoon of Thursday (04) in Paraty (1) (state of Rio de Janeiro), the lack of access for the black and poor population at the recent Copa das Confederações (Confederations Cup) (2) and the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, because of the high ticket prices.

Singer/musician and former Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil commented on the "whiteness" of the fans in the stands of Brazil's soccer stadiums
Singer/musician and former Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil commented on the “whiteness” of the fans in the stands of Brazil’s soccer stadiums

“There must be a self-promoted mobilization by favelas (slums) and the peripheries to supply the poor that these large global events end up imposing on Brazil, which is filtering the price of the tickets,” said the former Minister of Culture, according to reports of the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, who claimed to have gone to the Maracanã Stadium (in Rio de Janeiro) on Sunday for the final match between Brazil and Spain.

“There must be a self-promoted mobilization by favelas (slums) and the peripheries to supply the poor that these large global events end up imposing on Brazil, which is filtering the price of the tickets,” said the former Minister of Culture, according to reports of the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, who claimed to have gone to the Maracanã Stadium (in Rio de Janeiro) on Sunday for the final match between Brazil and Spain.

“I was in the grandstand, next to [Joseph] Blatter [president of FIFA], Zagallo (3), (singer) Ivete Sangalo and (singer/musician) Jorge Ben Jor. When I got home, I saw on TV that the place where the players rushed to embrace the crowd had no tint of the Brazilian race, it was whitish. This in Maracanã (4) where people of (the famous Rio samba school) Mangueira (5) used to come down to see the games.”

Fans at one of Brazil's national soccer team's games
Fans at one of Brazil’s national soccer team’s games

According to Gil, even in Salvador (in the heavily Afro-Brazilian state of Bahia), identified as having the largest black population in the country, the occurrence repeated itself. “In the game of Nigeria, in Bahia, where the black population in Bahia should have been more mobilized to participate, I saw that the economic issue weighed in heavily. Therefore, it would be interesting to create quotas, make a mobilization so that this Brazilian rainbow is better represented in the World Cup games.”

The singer also pointed out the example of a group of young people from São Paulo who sought his wife, Flora Gil, to rent an apartment she has in Salvador, where the group would attend the match between Brazil and Italy for the Confederations Cup. “Who wants to go see the games in stadiums, it is only the middle class of São Paulo, Rio etc.? Or do the peripheries also want (to watch)? That is the question. How are we going to solve it, to have a greater plurality in stadiums? Will it be only the five boys from São Paulo, possibly descendants of Italians, who can afford a plane ticket, that were watching the game and took the opportunity to eat an acarajé, and do a bit of tourism in Salvador.”

On being informed that FIFA had announced a project to sell tickets at low prices, Gil made other suggestions. “There must be various means. A bank that can create a loan, any company that can sponsor it there, make it so that the boys from Rocinha (6), from Mangueira or Cajazeiras (7) in Salvador can buy those tickets, and pay (in installments of) three or four times. Anyway, mobilize. There is a willingness of the population to go to the games. How do you respond to that?”

The songwriter also remembered that most of the big players in the history of national soccer come precisely from the lower classes who cannot afford the price of admission for major competitions. “It is the history of futebol (soccer), the great athletes worldwide come from the popular classes. It’s where the Hulk, Neymar, Romario, Bebeto, Ronaldo, Garrincha and Pelé come from.”

Brazilian soccer stars, past and present: Top left to right, Hulk, Neymar, Romario, bottom, left to right, Ronaldo, Garrincha and Pelé
Brazilian soccer stars, past and present: Top left to right, Hulk, Neymar, Romario, bottom, left to right, Ronaldo, Garrincha and Pelé

‘Apartheid’ reigns in Brazilian national team’s stadiums

by Mário Magalhães

Sunday in the Grêmio Arena (8), as in the new Maracanã stadium last week, the disgrace of the mono-colored tone reigned: the public attending the stadiums where Brazil’s national soccer team plays doesn’t have face of the Brazilians, who are a mixed people. It looks like a Nordic audience, so white, and not derived from the combination of predominantly Indians, Africans and Europeans that constitute our roots.

Accurate as always, Juca Kfouri (9) had already called attention to the aberration of the elite audience in the match in Rio against England. Racial segregation was repeated again today (June 9th) in a 3-0 win 3-0 over France, in Porto Alegre (state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil).

Star player Neymar celebrates in front of a crowd at a recent match
Star player Neymar celebrates in front of a crowd at a recent match

The large Portuguese, Italian and German immigration in Rio Grande do Sul created the false idea that it is a land of whites. Wrong: slavery was extensive in the state. The War of the Farrapos (1835 in Rio Grande do Sul) had a full battalion of black lancers in the war of the mid-nineteenth century. Porto Alegre has had a mulatto mayor Alceu Collares. Ronaldinho (10) is the greatest player from the state of all times. In the early 1800s, half of the thousands of residents of the town of Pelotas was formed by slaves, who were brought on slave ships to the port of Rio Grande. It is no wonder that Carnival of these two municipalities, Pelotas and Rio Grande, with its large black presence is the most exciting of Brazil’s southern region.

None of this is seen in the Grêmio Arena. It is evident that the color of the fans stems from the astronomical price of tickets in the country where skin color interferes with income, as evidenced by the statistics (11).

It is also clear that this ‘apartheid’ is not new in the national team games, always having more expensive tickets. But the whiteness of the audience seems to have increased with the new stadiums.

Would the mention of these observations encourage racism?

Or racism is to pretend not to see what the pictures show on TV and the internet?

What happens is normal? Is this how you build a decent country?

Source: Correio 24 HorasBlog do Mário Magalhães

Notes

1. Paraty (or Parati) is a preserved Portuguese colonial (1500–1822) and Brazilian Imperial (1822–1889) town with a population of about 36,000. It is located on the Costa Verde (Green Coast), a lush, green corridor that runs along the coastline of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Paraty has become a popular tourist destination in recent years, renowned for the historic town and the coast and mountains in the region. Source

2. The FIFA Confederations Cup is an international association football tournament for national teams, currently held every four years by FIFA. It is contested by the holders of each of the six FIFA confederation championships (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, OFC), along with the FIFA World Cup holder and the host nation, to bring the number of teams up to eight. Since 2005, the tournament has been held in the nation that will host the FIFA World Cup in the following year, acting as a rehearsal for the larger tournament. Brazil hosted the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup from 15 to 30 June, which they won by defeating Spain 3–0 in the final. Source

3. Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo (born 9 August 1931) is a Brazilian former soccer/futebol player and manager. He was the first footballer to win the World Cup both as a manager and as a player. Source

4. The Estádio do Maracanã, is an open-air stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Owned by the Rio de Janeiro State Government, it is, as the Maracanã neighborhood where it is located, named after the Rio Maracanã, a now canalized river in Rio de Janeiro. It was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, and in the final game Brazil was beaten 2–1 by Uruguay. Since then, it has mainly been used for football matches between the major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro, including Botafogo,Flamengo, Fluminense, and Vasco da Gama. It has also hosted a number of concerts and other sporting events. Source

5. The Grêmio Recreativo Escola de Samba Mangueira is one of the most traditional and best supported Samba schools in Rio de Janeiro. It was founded on April 28th, 1928 in Morro da Mangueira, near the region of Maracanã by Carlos Cachaça, Cartola, Zé Espinguela, Nelson Cavaquinho, among others. It is headquartered on Rua Visconde de Niterói, in the district of the same name. Source

6. Rocinha is the largest favela in Brazil, and is located in Rio de Janeiro’s South Zone between the districts of São Conrado and Gávea. Rocinha is built on a steep hillside overlooking Rio de Janeiro, and is located about one kilometre from a nearby beach. Most of the favela is on a very steep hill, with many trees surrounding it. 69,356 (census 2010) people live in Rocinha, making it the most populous favela in Brazil. Source

7. Neighborhood in Salvador, Bahia, with a population of about 60,200 located about 12.4 miles from the downtown area of the city. Source

8. Arena do Grêmio is a multi-use stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It was inaugurated on December 8, 2012. It is used mostly for football matches and as the home stadium of Grêmio, replacing the Estádio Olímpico Monumental. Source

9. In his article, “Branquearam o futebol (They’ve whitened soccer)”, Juca Kfouri made the comment that “Blacks, in the stadium (are) only those that were there to work.” Source

10.  Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, commonly known as Ronaldinho or Ronaldinho Gaúcho, is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro. His main playing position is as a attacking midfielder or forward. Source

11. See for example, here and here.

About Marques Travae 2897 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

2 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on AFRIKAN OPINIONS and commented:
    Afrikans around the world need to unite and realise that their plights in their countries mirror the plight of the Afrikan everywhere. Read this article and show your support to Afrikans in Brazil

  2. Even in South Africa there were black fans in the stands. No the problem is not with white (or so called “white” none of the white fans look white to me) but with the black populations who, despite their rather high numbers, do not mobilize. Also taking out a loan for a soccer ticket? That that is not wise, how about school supplies and the like, not a soccer ticket. Values are defiantly misplaced.

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