Opinions - 02.07.2014 - 00:00 

Ambivalent feelings

Emotions had been tense before the World Cup in Brazil but gave way to total exaltation as soon as the games startet. Impressions from Brazil by Marina Saad who was an exchange student to the HSG in the spring term 2014.


2 June 2014. When it was first announced that the FIFA World Cup would happen in Brazil, the feeling all over the country was of excitement. Brazil is the country of football and having such an event happening here was a big surprise and a reason to celebrate for all Brazilians.

From excitement to resentment

It was only when we realised about all the preparations that the World Cup required that the feeling in the country changed. The amount of public money that would be spent and the amount of time that would take for the country to get ready were two of the main factors that changed the people’s feelings from excitement to resentment.

That was when people started protesting and showing their feelings of disgust about all the money that was being spent. Brazil is still an underdeveloped country and our public money should not be being spent on stadiums, but on hospitals and schools. Also, not only money was being mistakenly spent, but in excessive amounts, as Brazil’s was one of the most expensive World Cups of all times.

People say that protests were late, that they should have happened when Brazil was first announced as the host. But I don’t think that the World Cup should necessarily have been a bad thing for our country and our economy.

Unfulfilled expectations

At first, many of us saw the World Cup as a chance for the country to develop. We have many infrastructure gaps, for example the subway in São Paulo is not enough for all the people that it should be attending, and we believed that having the World Cup here would be a chance for the country to invest in what our cities have to offer. But that did not happen.

As we got closer to the World Cup, people realised that all the billions of dollars that were being spent were not changing our country, except for the new stadiums that we now have. And then the protests began.

Also, protests here were not just about the bad use of our money for the World Cup, but the bad use of our money in general. Brazil has been like this for years: we pay high taxes, but we don’t see many changes or development.

Carnival in June

With the start of the games, Brazilians seem to have forgotten about all those issues. Now the country feels like a big party, where we celebrate, meet people from all over the world, it is a Carnival just not in February. That is how the atmosphere is here. We are all cheering for our team, we are all celebrating and the bad use of our money seems to have been forgotten.

Only when the World Cup ends that we will find out if everything that happened before the games meant that people were just scared that the games would not have been a success here or if people were really protesting for their money. We will find out if the celebration that is happening right now means that our people learned how to separate between politics and football, and that is what I hope for.

With government elections coming up in October, all we have to do now is hope, even if Brazil wins the championship, that our people learned how to separate between politics and football, but still haven’t forgotten about how much it cost us to get there.

Photo: lazyllama -

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