Passions run high when it comes to soccer, in most regions of the world, and one of those regions, where passions seem to run high on just about any topic, is Brazil.
The national team of Brazil had it training headquarters stormed by disgruntled fans, who are upset that there has been a dearth of contact between the side and local supporters.
The players, quite naturally, want to avoid contact with the hoi poloi, but they were offering Brazil football fans a singular meeting before the squad floats off the Russia. The authorities granted admission to the Granja Comary training camp to about 200 supporters, but many others were stopped at the gate by police for hours, after which the disgruntled broke into the camp.
It sort of makes one lust for the old times, when the riots were confined to the actual games and the period immediately following.
In the last World Cup, Brazil was humiliated in the semifinals by Germany in a game that resulted in a 7 – 1 loss, something the protesting fans did not want the players to forget.
Brazil is set to travel to London for training camp before heading to Russia on June 8. Demographic experts we are not, but it should not be hard to find some angry Brazilians in London.
Expectations run high and deep in the South American country.
Brazil have been champions in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. They were runners-up in 1950 and 1998, but runners-up is considered a consolation prize in a country that has produced some of the best footballers the world has ever seen.
The last World Cup, hosted by Brazil, must have caused the Amazon to flood from the blood and tears of the Brazilian supporters, where the side finished fourth and was outscored 14 – 11 in seven games.
Considering the seven goals poured in by the Germans, it is not something likely to be soon forgotten or forgiven by the population of Brazil.