By Eddy Montilla.
It seems to be contradictory and almost unbelievable to see growing unrest and protest in Brazil against high cost of hosting 2014 FIFA World Cup. Who could have ever imagined that in a country where soccer, a passport for some who daydream of being rich and famous and a way to have great fun and forget the woes of the day for others, we would find anti-World Cup protesters.
Brazil has been hit by a wave of strike coming from different sectors of its society: Teachers, drivers, military police, public health workers and others. Protesters rally calling for improved public services, better infrastructure, better wages, etc. Since their protests is a right, the have the right to protest. But, why do they want to continue with their protests now, just few days before the opening ceremony of the World Cup? No matter what they do, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be held. Then, why do these people gain from spoiling this international event to which they should be playing host?
Protests in Brazil at this moment in time can be considered as the theater of the absurd. Brazilian protesters had to fight before, so that Brazil did not bid for the World Cup. But now, such anti-World Cup demonstrations are illogical. It is the same as crying when you listen to a good joke or laughing instead of mourning a relative. Brazilians, in general, and the Brazilian government should work together to host a successful World Cup. If this event is a disaster, it might close the door not only to Brazil, but to other Latin American countries to try to hold international events of such magnitude in the future.
FIFA World Cup and similar international sports competitions yield large profits. If this were not so, any country would be competing for hosting such events. Instead of taking to the streets to protest, Brazilians should ask their President Dilma Rousseff and their Government where the how much or how little money obtained during the World Cup will end up. To try to solve national problems with actions that make Brazil look bad in the eyes of international public is not a good idea. To show the world that Brazil can hold a successful World Cup is the wisest course of action. It is not time to protest. It is time to play soccer.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion with Eddy Montilla.
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