A Reuters report by Anthony Boadle claims a poll conducted in Brazil on Monday indicates that the number of Brazilians who favor hosting the World Cup has fallen to an all-time low.
The poll, conducted by Datafolha, showed that showed that only 52% favored hosting the World Cup this summer, down from the 79% approval rate measured in November 2008 when the country was awarded the host-nation gig. The growing discontent reaffirmed last week’s MDA poll, which found that 80.2% of Brazilians believed the billions of dollars spent to host the World Cup should have been directed towards healthcare and education.
The feeling that the tournament is a waste of money that could have been better spent elsewhere sparked massive protests last June over poor public services and the high cost of stadium construction. Since then the demonstrations have become smaller but more violent, with masked anarchist groups clashing with police.
Whereas 81% of Brazilians backed protests launched last summer when more than 1 million people flooded the streets to rebel against deficient public transport, education and health services, that number has since dwindled to 54%.
The Datafolha poll surveyed 2,614 people and was conducted on February 19th and 20th, one week after Santiago Andrade, a television cameraman, was killed by a firework during a protest concerning an increase in bus fares in Rio.
Other problems continue to persist in advance of the 2014 World Cup. Over the last few months there have been a handful of construction related deaths. Last week 1,000 anti-World Cup demonstrators clashed with police after retail and bank storefronts were vandalized in Sao Paulo. And yesterday a 34-year old Santos fan was beaten to death with iron bars following a 0-0 derby match with Sao Paulo.
For a country with a vibrant love and passion for the beautiful game, it’s becoming increasingly nebulous as to whether Brazil is ready – and safe – for this summer’s tournament.