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!
The battle of the Goliaths turned out to be David vs Goliath where David forgot his slingshot… What a slaughter! And the worry surrounding the potential violence in the event of a Brazilian loss seems to have been well founded. The three biggest cities in Brazil (Rio, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte) all saw widespread security issues involving criminals, fans, and tourists. There were several reports of mass robberies where gunmen turned up a bars and robbed a number of people, this was also reported to have happened at the Fan Fest on the beach on Copacabana however some reports remain uncorroborated. There were reports of Brazilian fans fighting Germans as well as other Brazilians.
Tonight’s semi-final match in Sao Paulo (19C, 68% Humidity, slight chance of rain) will certainly see an enhanced security presence in the wake of yesterday’s violence. Hopefully, most of the violent criminals are too hungover from yesterday’s disaster to start trouble tonight but it should be anticipated nonetheless. Argentina, Brazil’s biggest rival, is playing tonight and their fans have a history of belligerence including during this tournament when they jumped a fence to get into the Maracana. If Argentina win or lose, be aware of the potential for violent confrontation between the Argentine supporters and Brazilians.
Leave plenty of time to negotiate getting to the match and through security and leave valuables back at the hotel. Have some spare cash stashed away somewhere on you so if you do get robbed, you have some means of getting home. This advice applies to those going to the game or just watching at a bar or Fan Fest. Importantly, leave at the first sign of trouble. Don’t wait around for things to degrade and then try to leave when it’s too late.
Enjoy the match. It is fixing to be another stunner. Let’s see if anyone will score 4 goals in 6 minutes…
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.
And we’re off again! All of the 8 group winners are through to the quarterfinals for the first time ever.
The big story in Brazil yesterday was the collapse of an overpass under construction that tragically killed several people riding in the bus it fell on in Belo Horizonte, one of the host cities. Although there were many concerns about the quality of construction of the stadia, there has been little to worry about thus far and with only 8 matches remaining, these concerns seem unnecessary; touch wood.
Today’s early game is France vs Germany in Rio (31C, 100% Humidity, clear) at the Maracana. There are no concerns about this match. Typically, both countries have fans whom are reasonably well behaved. The later game is Brazil vs Colombia in Fortaleza (30C, 65%, clear). Security services have been put on standby in order to respond in case of a Brazilian loss, not only in Fortaleza, but throughout the country as well. The concern is the potential for wide scale rioting in the face of defeat as has been seen in a number of other cities including Vancouver after they lost the Stanley Cup finals.