Forget the World Cup. Go to the People's Cup.
When the FIFA World Cup is going on in Sao Paulo, Brazil, an alternative World Cup will be held in Rio de Janeiro's Port region. La Copa Popular (the People's Cup) will be featuring athletes from Rio's favelas (OK, that's “poor neighborhoods” if you have to put a label on it).
One of the organizers of the People's Cup, Larissa Lacerda of Sao Paulo, wears a T-shirt that says “World Cup for Whom?” She said:
“The idea is make a sports competition, which truly has a popular character, with people in some way affected by FIFA's Cup.”
In 2012, Brazil's congress passed legislation barring local street vendors from setting up shop within a 2-kilometer radius of FIFA's restricted zones. These restricted areas are heavily guarded by “security” forces. Also, countless citizens have been evicted in order to make way for the commercial development that will cater to the World Cup. Larissa Lacerda said:
“So there are teams of communities suffering from removals, the street vendors, teams from communities suffering police violence. So we did the Cup to bring visibility to these issues and create debate.”
A 15-year-old player who will be participating in the People's Cup said:
“A lot of people are suffering because of the World Cup. This is a way to protest. There are a lot of people losing their homes. Health and education are chaotic. They are wasting money on unnecessary things like more roads, when really health and education should be in first place.”