Note from BW of Brazil: Although the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is projected to be seen by more than 3.2 billion fans, those with a more critical view of the game are taking notice of something else: the whiteness of teams’ coaching staffs and fans in the stands of the 12 Brazilian stadiums. In an obvious display of racial inequalities that BW of Brazil has been following for some time (see here and here), English journalist David Goldblatt found it strange to see such diversity on the field among players in contrast to those directing the teams and enjoying the games. The “blackout” of darker-skinned futebol coaches in Brazil can be analyzed through the experiences of Afro-Brazilian coaches like Jorge Luís Andrade da Silva and Roque Júnior, but it is a phenomenon that is not unique to Brazil. In his recent piece in The Guardian, Goldblatt wrote:
“Given that the playing fields of the 2014 World Cup provide such a brilliant picture of the ethnic diversity and complexity of the world, it is not clear that the same can be said of the crowds or the coaching staff. Dutchman Patrick Kluivert is one of the very few black faces on a European coach’s bench. No Latin American team has a manager of African or indigenous origins. Ghana and Nigeria have opted for local coaches but Cameroon and Ivory Coast have Europeans in charge.”
Caught up in all of the hype and joy of the games as well presenting visually stimulating broadcasts, the mainstream Brazilian press is predictably silent on these facts. Given Brazil’s inability to deal with such issues in a straightforward manner or denying it altogether, this is to be expected.
English journalist marvels over ‘white elite’ in World Cup matches
By Miguel Rosario
The Guardian has made an interesting critique of the World Cup which until now has not received any comment from our (Brazilian) press. An article written by David Goldblatt says that while the gramados (in English, pitch) show the intense mixture of Latin American countries, whose teams have excelled in the tournament, the arquibancadas (stands, in English) tell a “different story.”
It drew the attention of the reporter (I had also noticed this, but in relation to the Brazilian fans), the absolute hegemony of citizens of European descent in the fan cheering sections of the Latino nations. It is clear that the fact reflects historical inequalities on the continent, a reality that explains the emergence of popular, progressive governments, with public policies aiming to change this picture.
The article provides information and makes a much more complete analysis of the summary of this post. The problem happens not only with Latin American fans, but almost all countries. There have been incidents of racism among Argentines and Mexicans and the presence of banners with right-wing or even fascist inscriptions, observed among fans of Croatia and Russia.
In the end, the journalist warns that the world should be concerned about organizing an event that would celebrate diversity, pluralism and peace with increasing social and ethnic diversity of the fans.
How many of us
“Educafro, an NGO that combats racism, is protesting the lack of blacks in the stadiums of the World Cup – that the entity called, “apartheid padrão Fifa (FIFA apartheid standard).” “We are appalled,” says Friar David Santos, president of the organization. “We’re 50.7% of the Brazilian people, but how many black people are there in arenas?” – Mônica Bergamo, journalist – Folha de S. Paulo, 06/24/2014.
“In response to a letter from Educafro last year, Jerome Valcke, secretary general of the federation, said in the World Cup ‘whites, blacks, indigenous peoples and immigrants’ would have the same opportunities to enjoy the event.’ For NGOs, the promise is not being fulfilled. The day before yesterday, the British newspaper The Guardian published a story about the lack of diversity in the stands.”- Mônica Bergamo, journalist – Folha de S. Paulo, 06/24/2014.
Divided ball 2
“FIFA confirms in a statement that its ‘goal is not just to benefit one group at the expense of others,’ but to favor the presence of all. ‘Most ticket purchases were through raffles, providing equal and fair chances for all Brazilians and foreign fans. FIFA has created conditions so that those interested from all social classes can watch the games,’” it affirms – Mônica Bergamo, journalist – Folha de S. Paulo, 06/24/2014.