Two games of 64 remain and the sky hasn’t fallen! All in all, Brazil has done very well maintaining law and order in 12 cities over a month. A few incidents here and there but none of the cataclysmic even that were forecasted by naysayers before the tournament.
This evening’s losers’ final between the Netherlands and Brazil in Brasilia (27C, 50% Humidity, slight chance of rain) has the potential to be a brilliant match but unfortunately neither team seems very keen to hold aloft the honour of third place. Let’s hope that they find some motivation when the national anthems play.
From a security standpoint, Brasilia has not given much cause for concern. There were teething issues regarding the time it took to gain entry into the stadium but since the first week, all has gone well. Expect Brazilians to be celebrating their team’s performance despite the crushing defeat to Germany. This is still the World Cup and a semi-final appearance is a pretty respectable performance so it is anticipated that the country will put aside the defeat and celebrate the good performance of the team and, more importantly, the country as a whole for putting on such a successful tournament.
As always, if you’re going to the match, leave plenty of time to get there and keep your tickets and valuables out of sight. Tickets are still a hugely valuable commodity and worth the risk of mugging a tourist for the opportunity of watching the final Brazil match. If you’re watching at a Fan Fest, be aware that there have been reports of robberies there in the past so don’t go out with a whole wallet full of cards and cash; divide things up and take only what you need to have a good time so if you do get robbed it doesn’t ruin the whole holiday.
Have fun and enjoy the match!
What a day of quarterfinals! Brazil and Germany celebrated US Independence Day in style with good clean victories. The good news is that the worry of despondent Brazilian fans rioting in the wake of a loss has been delayed for a least a few days now.
There were no significant incidents over the last few days but there have been reports of people having tickets stolen on the way to games and in the vicinity of the stadiums. Like anything, “have it on show, expect it to go!” Keep your tickets out of site, especially as we progress through the latter stages of the tournament and they become increasingly valuable to maniacal football fans. Resist the temptation to boast about the tickets you have in public, as it will make you a target for theft. The UK FCO has issued some similar advice here.
Today’s games are Argentina vs Belgium in Brasilia (27C, 52% Humidity, clear) and Costa Rica vs The Netherlands in Salvador (27C, 78%, Heavy rain due to continue). Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, has seen some large protests and there remains the possibility of political activists trying to take advantage of publicity surround the game. Be aware, be early, and stay semi-sober until you get back from the match. In Salvador, the weather will be the biggest problem; this may require alternative routes getting to the match. Follow the advice given by organisers and, again, be early to prevent disappointment. In Recife, many people missed the first half of matches due to heavy weather impeding travel.
For tomorrow’s rest day… Not to worry if you’re sick of the sun and rain in Brazil. There’s the Wimbledon Men’s Final, the British Grand Prix, and the second stage of the Tour de France.
Yesterday saw Europe vs Latin America and finished with one to each. Both matches went down to the wire and things are looking promising for the remainder of the knockout stages. Today is Europe vs Africa with both Algeria and Nigeria facing uphill battles against Germany and France respectively, both of whom are looking in good form.
The Brazilians have managed fan, spectator, and tourist security very well. Funnily enough, fan security is more of a headline in home countries rather than in Brazil. France and Colombia have both voiced the need for enhanced security, domestically, during games. In Brazil, reporting continues to indicate a positive security presence in the host cities and reports show that anti-world cup protests appear to have died off.
Today’s matches are in Porto Alegre (14C, 94% Humidity, rain all day) and Brasilia (29C, 77%H, clear). The game in Porto Alegre is the late game so hopefully it clears up otherwise it’s going to be cold and damp affair. Despite the heavy weather, there haven’t been any transport concerns in Porto Alegre as we saw in Natal and Recife.
Last day of the group stages and the big news at the moment is the torrential rain in Recife for the big USA vs Germany match scheduled for this evening. If it keeps falling at the current rate, the match maybe cancelled. Equally important is the difficulty some fans are having at getting to the match. Get moving early if you want to get in and see the game, if it happens….
With the qualifications almost set the concern now is the future games between neighbouring South American countries. These have a higher likelihood of getting rowdy, even violent. As we saw in the Argentina match yesterday, they didn’t mind taunting the Brazilians in the stadium and they will be likely to carry on outside the stadium as well. Of particular note are Brazil vs Chile, and Colombia vs Uruguay both on Saturday. Hopefully this concern proves unfounded but it would be foolish not to be aware of the possibility.
Today’s matches are in Brasilia (28C, 53% Humidity, Clear), Sao Paulo (29C, 56% H, Clear), Recife (28C, 100%H, heavy rain trailing off towards the end of game time), Curitiba (22C, 83%H, foggy, clearing later).
The last 24hrs has seen a few security events but none have been in close proximity to fans. The protests in Sao Paulo, Rio and Brasilia were small, up to 200 people, but it’s only those who are prepared to get tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets (neither of which are much fun) who are now showing up. The police have made it clear that these will be dispersed rapidly and they will not interfere with tourists and football fans. France24 wrote a good report on the summary of events yesterday, read it here.
Two armed men and a police officer were shot and killed during violence in the Complexo do Alemao favela in Rio de Janeiro. There is an inexplicable tendency to want visit the less-affluent parts of Brazil, which is incongruous most tourist activities. Tourists were not piling into South Central Los Angeles in the wake of all the gang violence there but in Rio it seems to be a good idea… If you do venture into the favelas, be aware that you are always a target for crime because your plane ticket may have cost more than they make in a year. Exercise caution, keep your valuables out of sight, and don’t get lost.
On the fan safety front, an Australian fan was ejected when an altercation started with a Brazilian fan. Unsurprisingly, the police took the Brazilian chap’s side. The police are friendly and helpful but, like in most places, if you get in a fight with a local, don’t expect the police to take your side; especially if you can’t muster a word of Portuguese. It’s also a great way to extort a bribe from a tourist.
Today’s fixtures are in Natal (28C, 88% humidity, increasing chance of rain in the evening), Belo Horizonte (24C, 83%, clear), Cuiaba (33C, 83%, clear), and Fortaleza (30C, 83%, dry). Belo Horizonte was recently added to a warning to UK citizens for a high likelihood of protests. Be aware of locations where protests have previously occurred and avoid them. Leave at the first sign of trouble but if you do get caught out, get inside and ride out the storm.