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SBD/June 13, 2014/Events and Attractions
As FIFA World Cup Kicks Off, Brazilians Follow Through On Pre-Tournament Protest Threats
Published June 13, 2014
MIXED MESSAGES: In London, James Ducker writes Brazil "is unsure how it should feel about this World Cup, uncertain about how an outpouring of patriotism might be received when there are so many groups appalled that the country has committed" significant funds for the tournament "when schools, hospitals and public transport go neglected" (LONDON TIMES, 6/13). In N.Y., Filip Bondy writes Brazil "appeared even less prepared than its nervous national team." Protests "raged a few miles away" from Itaquerao Stadium, where banks of lights "flickered" during the game. It was a "day of very mixed messages" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/13). But the WALL STREET JOURNAL's Lyons & Jelmayer report as kickoff time approached on Thursday, many Brazilians "appeared to feel that they might as well enjoy the tournament even if they don't approve of how it was organized" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/13). Meanwhile, REUTERS' Paulo Prada reported despite worries "over traffic and the Sao Paulo stadium, which was completed six months late and wasn't fully tested before the game, there were no reports of major logistical [issues] before or after the game." Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari after the game "praised the stadium as 'incredible' and 'fantastic'" (REUTERS, 6/12).
MASCOT METRICS: In Miami, Mimi Whitefield notes Brazilians "seem to like" Fuleco, the official '14 World Cup mascot, whose name "derives from a blending of the Portuguese words for futebol (soccer) and ecologia (ecology)." FIFA said that he "scored a 7.3 out of 10 on appeal and his association with sustainability and the environment is a message that resonates with Brazilian fans" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/13).