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Who’s Cheering for Brazil in the World Cup?

For the original by Antônio Carlos Costa in Portuguese on the Rio de Paz Facebook page click here.

Many people are cheering for Brazil not to be knocked out of this World Cup. Who are they?

1. Millions of Brazilians
People who can’t restrain their passion for soccer and feel proud to see their country perform well in something they always do best.

2. Businessmen and Traders
Those who earn a lot of money, in the most diverse ways, with each step that Brazil takes towards the final.

3. Politicians
Who fear that Brazil getting knocked out will result in the perception that the World Cup has been a terrible deal for the country.

4. FIFA
Who fears that unrest will return to the streets if the team is disqualified and that it will become the focus of the protests with all the greed that was revealed in charging too much and sharing too little.

5. Soccer players and technical team of the Brazil national squad
Certainly there is a mixture of various feelings, as in other professions, given that victory represents the opportunity for them to enter history, close good contracts, and bring joy to the people.

We are talking about different levels of happiness if Brazil advances and wins the World Cup. The joy of those who will celebrate the victory of their country’s team, the joy of those who become richer, the joy of those who become more famous, the joy of those who have profited politically. There will be those, who even with the victory of the Brazilian team will continue to live in their shacks. There will be those who, if Brazil wins, will build mansions.

We must respect the feelings of the millions who cheer. No one has the right to feel morally or intellectually superior to those who cheer for Brazil’s victory in the World Cup.

It is our duty, however, not to allow victory to leave us blind to the lessons that this World Cup wants to teach us. There has been injustice and exploitation. The social consciousness of millions of Brazilians has been wounded.

It is also our obligation to act with serenity and fight for the preservation of social peace if Brazil loses the World Cup, not permitting the frustration to leave us blind to the possibility of a victory much greater than winning the World Cup.

The elections are approaching and with them the possibility to expel from public life those who govern without love for the Brazilian fan.

Antônio Carlos Costa is a theologian and founder of the NGO Rio de Paz.