UK & World News

  • 9 July 2014, 17:13

World Cup: Brazil Defeat Sparked Unrest Fears

Brazil has been poring over its humiliating 7-1 World Cup thrashing by Germany ahead of tonight's semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands.

There had been fears of more protests in the country over the cost of the competition - but so far the streets have remained peaceful.

The players were the subject of obscene chanting by devastated fans, and their ire has also been directed at President Dilma Rousseff who is seeking re-election in October.

Ms Rousseff, who had enjoyed something of a World Cup bounce among many Brazilians as the team advanced during the competition, has said she was "very sad" about the result.

Ill feeling will not be helped if Brazil's rivals Argentina beat Holland tonight to make Sunday's final at Brazil's iconic Maracana.

The build-up to the competition had been marred by rioting by those who thought the estimated $11.3bn (6.6bn) should have been spent on public services and infrastructure.

Earlier this month, a motorway flyover collapsed in Belo Horizonte, which hosted Tuesday's semi-final, killing at least two people and injuring many others

A poll of Brazilians ahead of the World Cup found 60% thought the competition was bad for the country.

Several buses were set on fire and looters ransacked an electronics store in Sao Paulo following Brazil's crushing defeat, although police did not confirm whether the trouble was linked to the match.

"It's a disaster. It will be chaos. People will break everything. They're going to be furious," said Karina Marques, a 17-year-old footballer who watched the game at a street screening in Rio attended by 30,000 people.

At a squatter camp outside Brasilia, people turned off their televisions in disgust before the end.

In tears, Maria Jose Costa Almeida, 35, asked: "Why spend so much on stadiums, bring the cup to Brazil, to win nothing?"

Antonio Hipolito, who lives in Rio, said: "I hope this can make people wake up and start thinking with their heads and not their emotions and that people translate the anger they are feeling at the ballot boxes.

"Soccer is just an illusion and we need to wake up to reality."

Brazilian fans embarrassed by their team's performance against Germany left the Mineirao stadium even before the half time whistle blew, with some ripping up tickets and giving a thumbs down as they left.

Riot police were on hand to prevent any trouble following a security alert.

The rout started when Thomas Muller opened the scoring on 11 minutes, before an extraordinary sequence of play saw the Germans bag four goals in six minutes in Belo Horizonte.

Miroslav Klose fired his record 16th World Cup goal on 23 minutes before Muller made it 3-0 two minutes later. Within another minute it was 4-0 thanks to Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira completed the first-half humiliation with a fifth just before the half-hour mark.

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle scored twice to make it 7-0 in the second half before a late consolation goal for his clubmate Oscar.

Even without injured superstar Neymar and suspended captain Thiago Silva, Brazil went into the match as marginal favourites with the bookies due to home advantage.

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