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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Croatia...2014 World Cup...Samba...Brazil...FIFA...






I decided to do this one because if I didn't, then I would only be fooling myself, and you dear readers. In a nutshell, as most of you are already aware of, the 2014  World Cup is just around the corner. The World Cup soccer buzz has been going on for quite some time already, and now it's going into hyperdrive as the kick-off to the first match is just days away. As you know, here at Croatianicity we tell it like it is. No butt kissing and avoiding the issues here with tales of butterflies and kittens and perfect lolipop sunny days full of tippy-toe prancing dafodils.

The professional jock-sniffers are also already starting with the dissecting, analyzing and what-if's ad nauseam ad infinitum. The palaver, cajolery and poppycock twaddling has also hit hyperdrive. The readers deserve better than that. Now, I'm sure there will be plenty of people lining up their pockets at this World Cup, however let's take a closer look. Beyond the slick commercials with the samba music, the shaking butts and sweaty breasts, the balloons, feathers and green and yellow costumes and more balloons. Sponsor money, media rights money, FIFA's big cut etc, has always been a factor, but lets look a little more beneath the surface . (I updated a previous related post about this topic, including the Brazilian president's accusation of evil white people being Brazil's recent and main problems, and much more background information Here)

What exactly am I talking about? Well, I'm not being some kind of tree hugger here, and I also am not Brazilian background, I don't wear Brazil t-shirts or samba in the backyard underneath the coconut Christmas tree, I'm not going to go around asking people to sign petitions on street corners either, so basically my opinion about this upcoming World Cup is as a casual observer who's observing that it's one big fucking joke, as an objective observation. (If I was the suit and tied high echelon "FIFA chair sitters", I would be so embarassed because of these ongoing protests, the underlying reasons for them, the utter mismanagement and lack of priorities and even common sense, the fiscal decisions and mismanagement behind various closed doors regarding this world famous ball kicking tournament, the lackluster attempts to fool everyone and viewers which in the end just shows contempt and tries to equate citizens and fans with being dumdums who can't think and are easily fooled, etc and so on) I can guarantee you that if the tables had been turned and it was Croatia that was chosen to host the World Cup under similar situations, the people would ask "What is your major malfunction?" and then the Croatian government would be overthrown and then all forced to get on a rubber dingy and paddle to their new home of Easter island.




Trust me, besides the on-field action, you're going to see plenty of fancy costumed images on your television like the above during the month long football tournament, and not very much about protesters, riots, helicopters or financial scandals.





I remember every World Cup since I was a kid and none of them had this floating tainted cloud of corruption, drek, hypocrisy, shady fat-cat politics, glitzy subterfuge media campaigns used to cover up and even more scandalous drek surrounding it. The World Cup has lost it's fun, innocence and whole purpose, as this is just one big greedy World Cup clusterfuck, as we used to say in the military. The country of Brazil with their problems of homelessness, favela's, rampant crime, not enough money for schools, high unemployment, organized drug gangs in battles with police and the army, even shooting down helicopters and much, much more, and suddenly their government is finding funds to finance brand new stadiums and other World Cup related construction mega-projects?, then fancified glitzy toe-tapping media onslaughts to fool everyone? (From help from those evil blue eyed white people devils?) Fancy sparkly samba and soccer ball themed commercials with bla, bla, bla.  No wonder so many of the Brazilian protesters in the articles below and in the news don't even want it taking place in Brazil...period. FIFA and their lackeys/minions must take the average football fans for an uneducated heap of buffoons.  Take a look at the figures below and crunch the numbers and the priorities...








A street in Rio before they even got picked to host the Olympics and the biggest ball kicking tournament in the world,  the 2014 World Cup. More info Here.






This quote from an article explains the situation about the wonderful state of World Cup soccer and the related decision making processes these days...."The millions of sidelined youth, protesting outside of stadiums, will neither don yellow nor kick around the ball with the Brazilian flair the world has always known. They are marching to demand the basic necessities the state has denied them while a $900m stadium in a city with no club team has been built; these protesters are calling for livable wages while the pockets of World Cup handlers grow fatter and fatter....."  Also guess what? the official World Cup slogan this time around is... "All in One Rhythm".  How's that for irony?  Read Public anger at spending and corruption may be the lasting image from Brazil for even more irony.

News story quotes like the above do wonders for the wonderful game of soccer/football, stories like the above quote show the true meaning behind FIFA these days it seems, the worlds most popular sport and most watched sporting event, which is....? These rising costs of holding this event every 4 years is getting so ridiculous, that countries with much less internal problems and baggage are opting not to host the World Cup, or they are putting it to referendums, in which case the referendums/people also overwhelmingly chose not to host. The costs involved and requirements/demands by FIFA to keep outdoing the previous World Cup is ball kicking insanity. All just so they can pat each other on the back while sipping champagne during the closing ceremonies fire works. (Look at it this way, for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, every single stadium existed and was up and running before Mexico even got awarded the tournament. For the 1990 World Cup in Italy and the 2006 World Cup in Germany both had 11 of the 12 stadiums already in existence and being used before they were also awarded the rights to host. Prognosis?..Guilt and scandals free soccer fun! No scandal aftertaste, no lingering black cloud of protesting protesters, no blame games, no police/citizen rioting or shot down helicopters/overturned vehicles, no fucked over segments of the population, no accusations of high level bribery, the soft drinks, beers and snacks taste better, etc)

Again, I am not being some kind of bleeding heart humanitarian or wussy at all costs peacenik or consider myself as being one of the protesters seen in the images and videos, because I'm not Brazilian. (Remember, I'm Croatian background, this whole blog thing)  I also am not some holy soccer televangelist trying to sell you some kind of touchy-feely soccer water or soccer ball cloth or a soccer Jesus statue or miracle soccer sweat from some jersey or jock strap that will make you kick penalty shots better. I'm just saying that I find this particular World Cup one big fucking joke after all the behind the scenes factors of organizing it are all taken into consideration. Beyond the glistening hoochy-koochy ass shakers in the commercials, beyond the fancy sponsor commercials, beyond the balloons, feathers, whistles and sparkly weird hats, it's one big smoke and mirrors very tainted sporting event this time around if you ask me. Croatia qualified for this World Cup, that's fine and dandy. I'll watch the matches that are of interest to me, fingers crossed and whatever will be will be, and la di da and que sera sera. However, beyond that forget about it, I don't care to watch any opening ceremonies, the attached bizarreness and greedy behind the scenes dealings and glitzy media subterfuge of this edition of the World Cup leaves me uninspired, disinterested and wishing it was over already. It's going to be wave after wave of overcompensating bullshit commercials and displays with ooooh and ahhhhh special effects and attached incessant blarny chatter like no other World Cup before this one. That's going to shock the sporto's out there, but that's the way I see it. (It seems like that big Jesus statue on the hill overlooking Rio is doing what the government there is doing, as in fuck all. Life goes on and pleated pant pockets gets stuffed with cash and la di da, que serra serra)






"OK Brazil, you have the World Cup, let's get those stadiums going, make sure that they're such and such and that they include such and such facilities for VIP's, we recommend cushioned chairs and a stocked fridge for the media as well,  they must pass the FIFA standards,, we have standards afterall. The standards directly outside of the stadium is of no concern for us, make it snappy. Oh, and make sure you have a catchy-jingly politically correct slogan and that there's lots of FIFA World Cup posters everywhere too."..... This made up quote of mine is really not far distanced from the reality. These protesters know that Brazil will make no money, as in a big fat  0, after the World Cup. They will have a brand new stadium in the middle of the jungle that will never be used by any team after this World Cup. The only people who will make money from this World Cup is....that's right....FIFA.





With the amount of FIFA rules and demands and power, telling countries and people how to spend, act and think, it's basically a fascist organization. Comedian John Oliver dissects the scandals, FIFA, bribery and tells even more behind the scenes facts of the 2014 World Cup.






Like I said earlier, every World Cup before this one I actually looked forward to, they were more real, more interesting, more about the game, most of the stadiums were already in place, the focus was just on the game and tournament, they were more inclusive and enjoyable for everyone involved, ESPECIALLY the host country, but now this. Even as I'm writing this there are more and more protests going on in cities where matches will take place, Sao Paulo where Croatia will play their first match against Brazil, the protesting transportation and construction workers have brought the city to a standstill, the stadium has already been surrounded by numerous thousands who were blocking access and confronted by more riot police with tear gas and ...blaaah. There, I feel better now after expressing my few personal opinions on this topic. Now I'm just waiting for one of the major fast food restaurant chains to make a 'World Cup Burger', then when you finish eating it, the container turns into a '2014 World Cup hat' and it comes with a miniature wind-up soccer ball kicking monkey.....


(If all this information is new to you, just hit this link for much more, and just when you thought it was over, the news story former-fifa-exec-accused-of-buying-world-cup comes along all over the internet...que sera..que sera...la di da..bla..bla...bla...)



Related previous post: brazil-president-lula-blame-white-devils






Hundreds arrested in Brazil as protest against World Cup spending grows violent





Protesters burn a T-shirt of the Brazilian national football team during a demonstration against the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Central do Brasil train station in Rio de Janeiro, to demanded better social health services, security and education on March 27, 2014. Photographer: Buda Mendes/Getty Images





Source/video: rt.com


Bank windows were smashed and fires started in Sao Paolo in a rally against World Cup expenditure, which has exceeded $11 billion. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades, making hundreds of arrests.

Almost a thousand people peacefully took to the streets on Saturday in the south-eastern city to express their discontent over the high government expenditure on the World Cup, which Brazil is going to host in four months.

“There will be no Cup!” and “Cup for the rich, scraps for the poor!” protesters chanted according to AFP.

Although the rally began peacefully, it descended into chaos as some demonstrators started smashing bank windows, constructed roadblocks, and set piles of garbage on fire in the streets. While some told the agency that violence escalated after police refused to allow the rally to carry on, others pointed at masked ‘Black Bloc’ anarchists in the demonstrations.

Stun grenades were fired and tear gas deployed in order to disperse the gatherings.

Sao Paulo military police reported on Twitter that 230 people were arrested. Among them were five journalists – three reporters and two photographers – according to local daily newspaper, O Estado de Sao Paulo.




 Policewomen arrest a woman during a protest against the government's expenditure for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil on February 22, 2014. (AFP Photo / Nelson Almeida)






“Even having been identified by their professional documents, journalists were lined up down the sidewalk,” the paper wrote.

Five police officers and two protesters were injured in the violence. One of the police officers was struck in the neck by a glass bottle, according to the paper, and had to be taken to the emergency department.

However, numerous protesters alleged that police instigated the violence with their heavy-handedness.

“The government is trying to make believe that Brazil is all cheer and carnival, but it's not like that. This is a very unequal country,” 19-year-old protester Lucas Souza told AFP.







World Cup only benefits outsiders, say Brazil protesters.








Source/images: www.cnn.com


Belo Horizonte, Brazil (CNN) -- At 11 pm, the tired and the injured gathered in Belo Horizonte for one last expression of discontent.

More than a thousand sat in Praca Sete de Setembro, a square in the center of the city, chanting against the government and the police. But they weren't the crowd's only enemy. A sign hung from a nearby balcony. It read: "Anti Copa." On the pavement the words "A FIFA é Foda" had been painted: "F*** You, FIFA," in Portuguese. The roads had been blocked off by the military police, who watched the protesters from afar. A bank of police horses chewed on piles of hay left for them on the road.

Daniel Sanabria, a technician in his 20s, stood nearby cradling his arm, an ice pack on top of a bloody bandage. He peeled it off to reveal an ugly red welt on his left hand. "A bullet," he explained.

The day was supposed to have been something of a coronation for Belo Horizonte, a relatively quiet and small city -- if a population of 2.5 million people could ever be called small -- surrounded by mountains, an hour's flight north of Rio de Janeiro.






Its famous Mineirao football stadium had just hosted its first match of the 2013 Confederations Cup, a 6-1 victory for African champions Nigeria against the tiny Pacific islanders of Tahiti. It was a dry run for next year's World Cup finals which return to Brazil for the first time since 1950, a chance to prove that the country was ready to host the most world's most popular sports tournament.

Instead, military and civilian helicopters flew overhead, roads were blocked and military police stationed throughout the city as a series of protests sparked by anger about the cost of living, poor quality education and high transport costs took place at the same time as the match.

The initial spark for the protests was a rise in bus fares in Sao Paulo. The anger was such that, even in a country often caricatured for its deification of soccer, the World Cup, its surrogate cousin the Confederations Cup and the game's global governing body FIFA, have all become symbolic of corruption and waste.

Protesters believe the tournament has seen the rich line their pockets, while the poor make do with crumbling public services. The World Cup, it seems, has sparked something that has lain dormant for a long time.







We have woken up. We are on the streets like in Turkey and Greece. They have made us wake up about this. "Tonight this is about all of Brazil, we are moving against corruption. We have been suffering for too many years," said Tainara Freitas, a teacher who had remained with the protest until the end.

"And this year we rise. We have woken up. We are on the streets like in Turkey and Greece. They have made us wake up about this. The World Cup in Brazil is about too much money. There are too many poor people suffering. The World Cup isn't good for Brazil. It will bring tourists and money but this is not good for poor people."

Earlier in the day 15,000 protesters had marched towards the Mineirao as hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets across the country in the first coordinated mass protests of this size since the end of Brazil's military dictatorship in the mid 1980s.






Police responded with tear gas, firing rubber bullets into the crowd, and beat protesters who burned barricades in return. I watched Tahiti's brave performance on the pitch as the protesters gathered outside, speaking to Brazilian sports writer Igor Resende at half time about the match and the reasons for the anger. A few hours later he was in hospital after apparently being shot in the back with a rubber bullet.

"The police came with a brutal force," recalled Resende. "I didn't see the protesters do anything. The police threw a bomb and it exploded in the middle of the protest. Then police began to shoot."

Resende said he was hit in the back by a rubber bullet as he ran away.

"In that moment I just ran. I thought that if I looked back the police would probably shoot me again. I don't think the police are well prepared. They are badly paid. They have a bad life. They act like this because they are scared."

But Resende said he has doubt that the police response was related to the Confederations Cup.






"I spoke to one of the highest ranked police guys in state yesterday. He told me 3,500 policeman were on the streets because of the game. They are acting to avoid conflict near the stadiums. The police and FIFA don't want the protesters near the stadiums."

For FIFA, who have been critical of Brazil's preparations for the World Cup, the protests are an unwelcome complication for a tournament already long behind schedule. "People are using the platform of football and the international media presence to make certain demonstrations," said FIFA president Sepp Blatter who, alongside the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, was booed by the crowd at the opening ceremony on Saturday.

Speaking in an interview in Rio on Monday, he said: "You will see today is the third day of the competition this will calm down. It will be a wonderful competition."






But the protests have not calmed down. The day after Blatter's interview, the biggest demonstrations yet took place. Sanabria and Freitas agreed that the Confederations Cup, which continues for another 12 days, is an opportunity to make their voices heard.

I asked them both what messaged they wanted to send FIFA and the football world.

"Please, please, make more pressure on our government, on the Brazilian government to look out for us," said Freitas before she made her way back into the protest, Sanabria still clutching his injured hand.

"They are looking out for people outside the country, they aren't looking for us, for the poor people."







Brazil national team’s World Cup 2014 preparations met by hundreds of protesters.








Source/video: sports.nationalpost.com


SAO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil’s preparations for its home World Cup got underway Monday amid chants of protests instead of support for the squad.

The players picked by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari reported to the national team as a few hundred demonstrators loudly protested against the money being spent by the local government on the World Cup.

The protesters surrounded the bus carrying the players from their hotel in Rio de Janeiro to the training camp in the mountain city of Teresopolis, about 90 kilometres (55 miles) away.

The demonstrators slowed the bus down as it tried to leave and then got close enough to attach dozens of stickers with slogans against the World Cup on the vehicle, including the windows. They also chanted and held anti-World Cup banners, including one that read: “There will be no World Cup, there will be a strike.”

The demonstrators were comprised mostly of professors and education officials demanding better schools and other improvements from the local government.

There were a few protesters when the team arrived in Teresopolis, too, but there were also some fans in place to welcome the players.

Last year’s Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up tournament held in Brazil, was marked by violent protests against the government. More are expected next month during the World Cup, although FIFA and local organizers have pledged to try to prevent the tournament from being affected.







Brazil anti-World Cup protesters clash with police








Source: www.bbc.com


Police in Brazil have fired tear gas at anti-World Cup and indigenous demonstrators in the capital, Brasilia.

Stones were hurled at security forces as hundreds of protesters tried to reach the National Stadium – where the golden tournament cup is on display.

A group of indigenous people who were demanding land rights at Congress eventually joined the protest.

This is the latest in a series of demonstrations in Brazil against the cost of staging the tournament.

Authorities say around 1,500 people were taking part in Tuesday's demonstration, which blocked one of the main roads of the city.

As the crowd tried to walk towards the National Stadium, host to several tournament matches, mounted police blocked their way.

With tensions running high, police fired tear gas several times to break up the demonstration.

The crowd was joined by a group of indigenous people who had climbed onto the roof of the Brazilian Congress building to demand changes in how their land is demarcated.

A policeman was reportedly injured in the leg by an arrow shot during the scuffles.

The demonstrations gridlocked the traffic in Brasilia for hours.

Last year, up to a million people joined demonstrations across the country to demand better public services and highlight corruption and the high cost of staging the World Cup.

Since then several other anti-World Cup protests have been staged in Brazil, with many descending into violence.










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