KEIR RADNEDGE at DEAD SEA: Demonstrations and street protests in Brazil at the World Cup will be aimed more at local politicians than at the finals themselves.
This assurance was delivered to the Soccerex Asian Forum by Pitagoras Dytz, a legal adviser to the Brazilian Sports Ministry.
The Brazilian government and world federation FIFA were shocked by the explosion of anger on the streets in cities across the country during the Confederations Cup warm-up tournament last year.
Initial protests were sparked by a bus fare rise in Sao Paulo but rapidly attracted protests about a perceived over-spend on World Cup and Olympic projects rather than social welfare.
Sporadic outbursts of street anger have continued, notably in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and the Brazilian security services are mobilising thousands of extra personnel to manage demonstrations during the finals which next month and in July.
Dytz said: “What we saw in Brazil with these demonstrations at the Confederations Cup was an expression of the consolidation of our democracy.
“These games are seen by all the world which brings opportunities for all these demonstrations among the local population because it puts in question a lot of the political decisions around the World Cup and the Olympic Games.
“But we saw, during the Confederations Cup, demonstrations about social issues and not against the World Cup. We made a research about that and we know it’s not because of that.
“The people want the World Cup but they want other changes also, such as social change. This is a big legacy that the Cup can bring for us. It’s a moment of political and social change inside the country. South Africa went through the same thing in 2010.”