Author Topic: Will World Cup redeem people's faith in football  (Read 1550 times)

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Will World Cup redeem people's faith in football
« on: 05 January, 2016, 03:58:42 PM »
Will World Cup redeem people's faith in football

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(CNN) In Brazil, they use the expression "futbol arte" to describe the type of soccer which made the country's world champion team of 1970 so easy on the eye.

And, after a year of violent protests, rubber bullets and tear gas, the romantic ideal of Brazil often portrayed in glossy travel magazines seems hard to imagine.

Thursday marks the start of an opportunity for Brazil to redefine itself after a difficult 12 months preparing for arguably the world's largest and most popular event.

So no pressure, then, on Brazil's footballers, who take on Croatia in the tournament's opening game in Sao Paulo, Elite nfl jerseys ( the recent epicenter of the unrest.

Will the host team's expected progress, led by current hero Neymar, help ease the sense of injustice which has ingrained itself within the population?

As if that wasn't a great enough weight on the shoulders of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's team, there is the added pressure of Brazil's quest to exorcise the ghosts of 1950 which will begin 64 years after what is known as the country's "Hiroshima."

When Uruguay defeated Brazil in the deciding match courtesy of Alcides Ghiggia's strike, it left an indelible mark on a country whose first love has always been football.

And yet, after more than six decades of waiting for the tournament to return to their home country, the Brazilian people are otherwise engaged.

Whereas football may still be a religion, its Brazilian congregation have slowly turned their backs on their deity.

"This World Cup is not for the Brazilians," 59 year old street vendor Maria Elza de Fatima told CNN.

"It is for the foreigners and FIFA friends."

While thousands of tourists flock to Brazil and media pack the streets to broadcast the action across the world, Sao Paulo has been brought to a standstill by metro workers striking over wages the latest in a series of protests against the government.

An estimated $11 billion of public money has been spent on hosting the tournament much to the chagrin of the protesters, who argue that money might have been better spent on public services.

"I think the best moment to protest is at the end of the World Cup," says two time World Cup winner Cafu, Brazil's most capped footballer, who was speaking to CNN to promote the Castrol Footkhana skills challenge.

"This will be the moment we can show ourselves that we can fight for our rights better education, better healthcare, better culture, better transportation," he told CNN.

"This is the moment we can show the world we are capable of staging a well organized World Cup. We will show we are a democratic country and (later) fight for our rights."

Once the football starts, nobody will be more relieved than FIFA and its under fire president, Sepp Blatter.

The 78 year old, who has held the position since 1998, was told Tuesday that he should not stand for a fifth four year term by some of the organization's key European members within UEFA.

However, at Wednesday's FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, he told delegates "my mission is not finished. I am ready to accompany you in the future."

Just a fortnight after allegations of corruption during the 2022 World Cup vote was reported by Britain's Sunday Times, Blatter has been forced to endure one of the most difficult periods of his tenure.

The newspaper claims to have unearthed millions of emails and other documentation which allege Qatar's former FIFA Executive Committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam used a multimillion dollar slush fund to buy support for the bid. lawyer Michael Garcia, who has been appointed by FIFA to lead an investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, awarded to Russia and Qatar.

But president of the Dutch Football Association Michael Van Praag believes enough is enough.

"I then said at the microphone: 'I like cheap soccer shoes ( you a Cheap authentic jerseys ( lot, there is nothing personal here, but the reputation of FIFA is today inextricably linked to corruption," recounted Praag of what transpired at Tuesday's UEFA meeting.