Brazil Yields to Demonstrators’ Demands



In the face of increasing global media attention to demonstrations as opposed to the football, the Brazilian Government has ceded to the demands about the unfairness of increased transport costs.

Crowds numbering 100,000 had been mounting protests in the cities where the Confederations Cup matches have been taking place. Their grievances include a massive hike in the costs of public transport, on top of a feeling that the World Cup 2014 is making everybody wealthy except the ordinary citizens of Brazil.

Originally inspired by a more than doubling of public transport fares in Sao Paolo, the protests spread both geographically to other cities and to other areas of injustice. In particular, they cite corruption, nepotism and the disruption to the lives of ordinary Brazilians as causes for concern.

Within the last 24 hours, the Government has relented on the fare increases. It may be too late. A protest is planned for the central business district of Rio on Thursday, where Sky Sports News expects over 100,000 people to turn out within half a mile of the Maracana Stadium. Spain are due to play Tahiti there tonight in the Confederations Cup.

Police are already there in huge numbers, as are, more troublingly, the Federal Military.

The protests are due to begin at 1pm Pacific Time and the match one hour before.

On the field, Italy and Japan provided a thrilling seven goal match in Group B. Japan raced into a two goal lead but shed three goals in eleven minutes around the interval to allow the Azzurri an escape route. Japan however never lost heart and equalised but the Italians netted a winning fourth but not before their post and cross bar saved them from a 4-4 draw.

The win for Italy eliminates Japan who join Mexico who were eliminated after losing 2-0 to Brazil yesterday.

Most pundits predict and most fans hope that we are heading for a Spain v Brazil final although the lack of any competitive football for the World Cup hosts, who qualified automatically, is seen as a drawback.

That dream final would firstly entail that both sides finish top (or both finish second) of their group and navigate the semi finals. In their way stand Italy, who have a history of upsetting Brazil in big tournaments as they famously did against possibly the best Brazil side ever in 1982; ironically a tournament held in Spain.

In Spain’s way stood Nigeria, a side who achieved the unlikely feat of looking abysmal in winning a match 6-1 against the Tahitian outsiders. Nigeria still had to navigate Uruguay in what was the only match of the first stage that has no clear favourite. In his 100th international Diego Forlan scored Uruguay’s second in a 2-1 win.

Although both sides now have 3 points, Uruguay have Tahiti to play while Nigeria face Spain who annihilated Tahiti 10-0. Nigeria could still qualify but would have to beat Spain.

Spain still need just to lose by less than three goals to progress but a draw to ensure first place.


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