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«Lessons of the Cup» | Bob Fernandes

Translation: C. Brayton

Lessons of the World Cup

The federal government and governors should not lie or withhold information. There should have been debate on the question of whether public funds should be used or not.

The opposition forces, on the other hand, should not have lied or promoted false impressions.

They crowed triumphantly that the Cup would be a disaster, that they would force Brazil onto the defensive, [product of a] crisis of ill omens and low self-esteem.

Nothing would work properly, they said, and Brazil would be embarrassed before the eyes of the entire world.  “Imagine If This Was the Cup!”

The slogan is a twist on the venerable saying according to which, if the mayor suddenly paves your street, it is probably pra inglês ver — to leave foreigners with a positive impression.

“Imagine” — no relation to the John  Lennon composition of the same title — was a meme used to try to associative negative events with the Cup. The classic example was the headline shared almost verbatim by the three major dailies: “1 Killed in Collapse of Public Works Project Related to the Cup and the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC)!”

The real cause for shame is those Brazilians who displayed their ignorance of the country they live in and the people who inhabit it.

Coming ashore, the foreign media very quickly and much more accurately identified who the Brazilian people are.

No newbies and no patriotic hymns. Without leaving out inequalities, social injustice, the fascist violence of police and state governments, and the waste of public funds.

Nor did they refrain from showing how government and opposition shared responsibility in the spending spree involving the stadiums.

It was a spectacular Cup, hailed by the entire world.

The only sign of failure was our performance on the field: the 7 Germany x Brazil 1 match was the most overwhelming defeat in the history of our football.

After the defeat, the usual festival of cynicism and hypocrisy.

The scripting of the event by those who use and abuse football and the national team in their own businesses.

They behave in the realm of football much as they do in the realm of politics.

They give the orders, only to issue contrary orders. They make or break coaches and players, transforming the lives of players into an episode of Big Brother Brasil. All in the name of advertising revenue.

Now the power elite say that are shocked. Shocked! They have abandoned the oba oba of the fans into a search for those who deserve the blame. They call for a “renewal” of Brazilian football … a renewal that will leave everything as it was before.

Their former business partners are thrown to the lions even as [the federation refuses] to confront the decisive problems, or sweeps them under the rug — those issues that involve them and their private interests.

Italy lost and everyone was fired, including the top brass at the national federation. Germany began its transformation over the past several years with purges aimed at an environment rife with corruption.

If Brazilian football wants change, in order to avoid this shameful state of things, it needs to break it off with those who use and abuse it for their private and corporate interests.

The video at the top of this post presents some 75 related volunteer programs in their preparations for the Cup.