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Protest tournament staged in Brazil

06-18-2013 11:45 BJT

By CCTV correspondent Lucrecia Franco

When the Confederations Cup kicked off in Brazil Saturday, some of Rio’s poorest citizens protested by staging a parallel “Popular Cup” - a series of football matches organized as a protest against the government’s forced evictions for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

All Brazilians love football, but these players from the city’s “favelas” -- or slums -- aren’t just kicking the ball around for fun. This game is a protest. This alternative event, dubbed the “Popular Cup,” kicked off in Rio Saturday, coinciding with the start of this year’s Confederations Cup matches -- a two-week international football tournament that many Brazilian fans can’t afford to attend.

"The best tickets for the Confederation Cup cost the equivalent of a minimum monthly wage here – some 300 U.S. dollars – so it is difficult for us to watch it," Popular Cup Participant Pablo De Lima said.

Not only do many of Brazil’s poorer people feel excluded from the tournament their country is hosting, but many will lose their homes to upcoming developments -- or have lost them already.

"In Rio de Janeiro alone, 40,000 or even more are facing forced evictions, activists say, all linked to the high profile sporting events," CCTV correspondent Lucrecia Franco said.

The Popular Committee for the World Cup and Olympics -- a watchdog group monitoring the games -- says five times more Brazilians will lose their homes.

"Two hundred thousand people will be forcibly removed from their homes in all of Brazil, and lot of this removals are related to the World Cup and the Olympic projects," Popular Committee Member Christopher Gaffney said.

The government says these forced relocations are necessary to host the upcoming sporting events and insists that nobody will be “left behind” -- something these football players dispute.


Editor:James |Source:

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