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SBD Global/July 16, 2013/Facilities

Rio De Janeiro's Maracanã Stadium Could Ban Flags, Instruments, Shirtless Fans

Fans celebrate at Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã stadium.
Brazilian football fans "could be banned from standing up, taking their shirts off, waving flags and playing musical instruments" at Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã stadium, according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. The move "is likely to cause an outcry in Brazil and confirm the fears of supporters worried about the gentrification of the country's stadiums following their modernisation for next year's World Cup." Maracanã Consortium President Joao Borba said, "We are going to talk to the clubs about a change of habit" (REUTERS, 7/11). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw reported the plans are part of the stadium's $450M "modernisation programme," and are designed to "cut down on violence and safeguard the comfort, security and accessibility of supporters." In a city where "clothing informality is part of the culture," critics have been quick to respond, with supporters "using social media to vent their anger at recommendations which threaten long-standing traditions" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 7/15). The BBC reported fans "used blogs and social media to vent their anger at the plan." Blogger David Butter wrote under the title "The colonisation of Maracana," "In the new Maracana, icon of a football undergoing transformation, a war has been declared against people." Hours after the announcement, users on Twitter "were largely critical of the plans" (BBC, 7/11).
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