Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Aaron Falk: Soccer triumph puts spotlight on Brazil’s problems

By Aaron Falk

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jul 06 2013 06:12 pm • Last Updated Dec 07 2013 11:35 pm

The Confederations Cup wasn't supposed to mean much.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Right?

The tournament, which wrapped up only a few days ago in Brazil, was supposed to be little more than a dress rehearsal for when the curtains are pulled back on opening night, World Cup 2014.

But as the action played out over the last few weeks, I found even casual soccer fans were watching with rapt attention.

Japan looked to be in control of a traditional world soccer power, only to see the Italians come back for a thrilling 4-3 victory. Italy treated fans to even more suspense later in the tournament, taking Spain to penalty kicks.


story continues below
story continues below

There was the courage of a Tahitian team that featured only one professional.

And then, of course, there was the host nation.

From the very beginning, the Brazilians, inspired by the magical play of Neymar, were brilliant en route to a championship victory over Spain - a 3-0 stomping that ended the Spaniards' three-year unbeaten run and had the home fans chanting, "The Giant is back!"

But while we were witness to Brazil's best on the field, it is impossible to ignore its shortcomings away from the stadium lights.

What started as a protest over a 10 percent hike in the public transit fare would eventually lead to more than a million people taking to the streets in cities all over the South American country. Banks and buses were burned, according to news reports.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was booed to start the tournament, opted to skip the finale. In doing so, she missed out on a clash that saw demonstrators throw objects at riot police and riot police firing tear gas at demonstrators.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.