Brazil Prepares for World Cup by Seizing Homes, Chasing Vendors Away; Protesters Respond With a World Cup of Their Own

An alt-World Cup in the favelas.


When an international sporting event comes to town, that often means heavy-handed repression (and other problems) for people unfortunate enough to live in the host city. With São Paulo preparing to present the upcoming FIFA World Cup, for example, Al Jazeera reports that Brazil's congress has passed a law restricting

In the future, graffiti will also have alt-text.

local street vendors from selling their wares within a two-kilometre radius of FIFA's restricted zones. These zones are heavily militarised by local security forces.

Opponents of FIFA…said preparations for the Cup have also led the government to evict residents from their homes in exchange for commercial development and increasing real-estate values….

The government has denied forcibly evicting families from their homes without due process, or for the sole purpose of infrastructure projects related to the World Cup and Olympics.

Activists dispute the government's claims. Maria do Socorro, a co-organiser and resident of a favela named Indiana, has had to fight to keep her three-story house where she has lived since she was six years old.

Activists are protesting the regulations and evictions in an interesting way: They've organized an alternative tournament. According to Al Jazeera, the players are

men and women of all ages from Rio's many favelas, poor communities that surround the city.

La Copa Popular, or the People's Cup, is hosted by the activist group People's Committee of the World Cup and Olympics and is in its second year.

The qualifying tournament for this year's Copa Popular finals took place at the top of the Morro do Salgueiro favela in northern Rio, and the finals will be held on June 8.

A similar event was held in South Africa when the World Cup was played there in 2010. Then as now, the aim was "to protest evictions, removals, and the barring of local vendors from designated FIFA areas"—and presumably to have some fun playing too.

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  1. Governments gonna government.

    1. Only a government could fuck up badly enough to make Brazilians hate the World Cup. Even the corrupt fuckheads at FIFA couldn’t do it on their own.

      1. It seems like it used to be that shit like the Olympics or World Cups were boondoggles but that they went off well enough that people could enjoy them. There was plenty of cronyism and corruption, but when wasn’t there?

        Now it’s like no event can go off without massive problems, fuckups on scales that would have gotten people imprisoned previously, and of course massive infringements of liberty from every direction.

        The bigger governments get, the more incompetent they become. That’s good in its way, because otherwise we’d all be living in 1984, but still, it’s depressing watching the giant flail around at our expense.

        1. Part of it is that they used to give those events only to first world countries that had some level of competence. The London Olympics were a boondoggle but they did come off as planned.

          Places like Brazil and Russia cannot run a proper amateur basketball tournament let alone the Olympics. Had they given this event to Germany or the US or Japan or some other country that isn’t a third world shit hole, it would be the ordinary rip off they have always been. Instead, they decided the interests of justice and fairness and bribery dictated that it become a complete disaster rather than just more official theft.

          1. Part of it is that they used to give those events only to first world countries that had some level of competence.

            Yeah, and now they push it on 3rd world clusterfucks to “stimulate” their economy.

            It’s working really well! I promise! Nevermind all the debt.

          2. Brazil hosted the World Cup in 1950. I suspect the plebes were a bit more repressed back then than today – which is why we’re hearing more from them today.

          3. I thought that Brazil got these things because they had finally arrived. All I’ve heard for years is how the sun is setting on the U.S. and the BRICS are going to run the world in the 21st Century.

            1. Brazil has been the country of the future for over half a century.

            2. No they got things like World Cup based on a vote.

        2. The bigger governments get, the more incompetent they become.

          Duh. Lowest Common Denominator, yo. Not that common core shit either!

  2. The Olympics are on track to be quite amusing.

  3. Don’t worry, they will make up for it by doing even more before the Olympics.

    Maybe awarding events like the World Cup to whoever can provide the highest bribe isn’t such a good idea? The next two world cups after this are Russia and Qatar. Considering Russia’s performance hosting the Olympics, they are unlikely to do much better than Brazil. And Qatar is such a disaster that I give it less than 50 50 for it to even come off and not be moved elsewhere. They gave a summer event to a country where it is 130 degrees during the day that time of year and went broke right after the event was awarded. They are trying to get the World Cup rescheduled for November because they cannot build enough air conditioned domed stadiums to host the event. Doing that would fuck up the season of the European professional leagues. It is not going to happen.

    1. A story broke the other day detailing how Qatar bribed the voting committee. I have a good feeling that Qatar will not be hosting the World Cup – at all. Not if the already-despised FIFA boss wants to save one tiny scrap of his rep.

      1. I think you are right. FIFA is so arrogant it wouldn’t shock me if they said fuck you and did it anyway. But if I had to bet, I would bet they move it somewhere else in the next year or so.

  4. Olympics/Fifa/sports in general lobbying to host is a lot like playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun and begging to go next.

  5. It seems like it would just be much simpler to let everyone know who had the high bid for the winning match.

    1. Funny how that story went absolutely nowhere. I wonder if it was even true, because I haven’t heard anything further about it.

      1. Probably because nobody cares about soccer.

        1. Yuk yuk. I mean in the soccer press.

    2. So soccer is just like the WWF/WWE? First the flopping now the fixing? What’s next, taking out the keeper with a steel chair when the ref’s aren’t looking?

  6. And if you think this is bad, wait to the 2018 World Cup in Qatar comes along. You talk about a perfect shitstorm of security risks, human rights abuses, and poor planning.

    Who thought it would be a good idea to play a soccer tournament in a country that has never hosted anything major like this before and has average temperatures in the 100s during the summer months?

    1. They have it in 2022. Russia has the 2018 one, as if that is any better.

  7. The USA is not like Brazil.

    *clicks three-inch pumps and walks off in a huff*

  8. It’s so lovely when the “I want gimme gimme gimme” kids grow up to become tyrants.

    1. “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be tyrants…”

  9. …a favela named Indiana.
    We named the dog ‘Indiana.’

  10. Hopefully this will have a trickle-down effect here in the US as governments at all levels learn the hard way that the people are fed up with being inconvenienced by, and having to pay for, publicly-subsidized sports events.

    1. No, they’ll just make sure to do such deals in secret, like Cobb County, Georgia and the new stadium for the Braves.

    2. And yet those fed up people keep voting for the same incumbents election after election after election.

      1. Dee: Uh, you guys might wanna think about voting every once in a while.

        Dennis: What has voting ever done?

        Charlie: Wha?since?what is?why are you coming dow?voting?

        Dennis: Who am I supposed to vote for? Am I supposed to vote for the?the Democrat who’s going to blast me in the ass or the Republican who’s blasting my ass?

        Mac: You see, politics is all just one big ass-blast.

        1. Politics is Taco Bell!

  11. a favela named Indiana

    Hey, we have one of those here in the USA too!

  12. “Then as now, the aim was “to protest evictions, removals, and the barring of local venders from designated FIFA areas”?and presumably to have some fun playing too.”

    Honestly, given that it’s soccer, and assuming they don’t also bar vendors, I’d probably get a bigger thrill on checking them out.

    1. Can they name it something else though? “The People’s Cup” makes me think there will be tanks and goosestepping.

  13. Honestly, every world cup should just be in the U.S. It might actually be profitable here (but probably not because it will inevitably have dumb-asses running it). But think about it, what other country in the world has dozens, if not hundreds, of capable stadiums for the matches? The infrastructure is already built here. We could host it tomorrow with no problems.

    Instead FIFA has taken the highest bribe and “rewarded” a poor country without the infrastructure. Then the poorest in that country get slammed even harder by evictions, taxes, etc. Then FIFA acts like they’re doing the poor country a favor by gracing it with their presence and “bringing money to the economy”. FIFA is a screw-up, nothing more. If they don’t fix the Qatar situation, they may go the way of the dinosaur.

    1. But think about it, what other country in the world has dozens, if not hundreds, of capable stadiums for the matches?

      Almost every European country. Most South American countries. Including Brazil – which already had plenty of suitable stadiums. Just not “new” ones to throw all that money at. Qatar is the only “winner” that actually HAD to build stadiums from scratch. Mayyyybe South Africa but I doubt it.

      1. If I were picking a host country I’d want to just see how they were going to use existing infrastructure. Plans to build beautiful new stadiums are nice and all, but you want to minimize the risk to the event. Seems like there are many, mostly first world, countries who could pull off a world cup with a few million dollars in corporate sponsorships.

        1. I think recent years have shown that the choice of a host country is entirely political.

    2. US Soccer is STILL trying to spend all the money they made off of the 1994 tournament.

  14. If hosting the events were profitable, they could have them in countries most likely to be impacted by the alleged rising sea levels. The profits could be plowed into flood mitigation infrastructure.

    1. Yes, but many of those countries are islands, and the weight of the new stadiums, players, and spectators could cause them to capsize.

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