Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup next summer and have the eyes of the world upon them. This summer however, they’re hosting the Confederations Cup, and people are paying attention.
So the protests that have occurred across the country has come at an inopportune time for the nation. The protests are fighting for improvements in basic services such as public transportation, schools and hospitals.
And it’s an inopportune time for the Brazilian national team, which is having a hard time not paying attention to the protests. They’ve tried to avoid the subject but they couldn’t ignore the hundreds of thousands of countrymen in the streets protesting.
“After seeing the people on the streets claiming for improvements, it makes me feel like joining them,” Brazil striker Hulk said, via New York Daily News. “They are doing the right thing, what they are saying makes sense and we have to hear them. Brazil needs to improve, we all know that.”
According to NYDN, nearly 240,000 people marched in 10 Brazilian cities on Monday. The NYDN also compares these protests to those that prompted the end of a military dictatorship in 1985 when protestors demanded a return of democracy.
“The people have the right to express their opinions and to protest when they are not happy with what is happening in their country. That’s the only way to call attention to what is wrong,” said Brazil and Chelsea (English Premier League) defender David Luiz. “I don’t live in Brazil but I love my country. The Brazilians love their country and that’s why these protests are happening.”
“The only thing we won’t support is violence,” David Luiz said. “I’m in favor of the right to express your opinion, but only if it’s done peacefully.”
“I’m in favor of the protests as long as they are peaceful,” Brazil striker Fred said on Facebook. “I’m very proud to see the people fighting to improve public transportation, health services and so many other things.”
For Brazilian Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari a seemingly more difficult task is at hand, keeping his team focused on winning.
“Our job is to give fans motivation to celebrate by doing well on the field,” he said. “It’s all we can do.”