The upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has been one of the smelliest rats in the country for the past years. From suspicion over the silver-plated partnerships between government and private companies in running the event to the ever-hiking social costs to be paid by constituents, the world’s most important football event can be certainly claimed to have been one of the triggers of the recent uprisings across Brazil.
It seems now, however, that there is an indigestible cherry for this FIFA fiasco cake. The final draw ceremony, which will divide countries into eight groups, is to be held in the city of Costa do Sauípe, in the Northeastern state of Bahia, on the 6th of December. To host the event, Brazil had chosen one of the most charismatic and most talented couples in the country: actress Camila Pitanga and actor Lázaro Ramos. News burst yesterday in Brazil, nevertheless, that the couple have been rejected by FIFA.
The disturbing realisation here is not that Camila and Lázaro are both black. They were supposed to host the final draw ceremony in Bahia (incidentally, where Lázaro was born), which is the state with the largest black population in Brazil, a country where more than half of the population is black. If that is not disturbing enough already, FIFA decided to go for a different approach. Instead of the original couple, they chose Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert to host the event. Fernanda and Rodrigo are white, from the South of Brazil, where the mix and match of mainly Italians and Germans baffles the unaware racist.
FIFA has been building its own reputation for not speaking up against racism in football. Ivorian Manchester City’s Yaya Touré warned authorities of a prospective boycott against the 2018 World Cup in Russia, after he and his peers experienced prejudice against them on several occasions. Last Sunday, Brazilian Betis’ Paulão left the field crying after being compared to an ape by the team’s fans in a match against Sevilla. Apparently, to the medieval Betis fans, Paulão deserved such an atrocious comeback for having been dismissed.
What is the message we are receiving from FIFA? Bypass all of sport’s premises of fair play by remaining silent when you should be fiercely shouting against narrow-minded pathological debris from times when lower levels of melanin alone granted you rights.
What is the message we are receiving from FIFA? Bypass all of sport’s premises of fair play by remaining silent when you should be fiercely shouting against narrow-minded pathological debris from times when lower levels of melanin alone granted you rights. To make it even worse, learn from FIFA and use your power to reinforce prejudice. It doesn’t seem to cause much of a turmoil anyways.
Images from br.tv.yahoo.com