By Gillon Gross

Rio de Janeiro is beautiful on the outside. It has beautiful beaches, and skyscrapers. The cities exotic look makes it great for shooting movies. There is no shortage of soccer fanatics either. It has the money and passion that it takes to host the biggest sporting event in the world, and make it special.  The 2014 world cup should be as beautiful as the city, but the city also has an ugly side.

Rio de Janeiro’s streets are raging with crime. There is an alarming rate of kidnappings, street violence, robbery, and gang wars in the vast slums of Rio. The murder rate alone is about four per hour. It is hard to feel safe using public transportation in Rio, even in the most affluent areas.

In 2014, the city will fill up, and visitors will boast their countries jersey. Nationalism is rampant in all of Europe, and South America. Inevitably, things will get personal. I worry about the violence of the slums spilling over into a beautiful tournament. It is apparent that fans are serious about their international soccer, maybe too serious.

In February 2012, we saw just how serious they can be. 72 dead, 1000 injured in Egypt soccer riots. The brawl occurred both inside and outside of the stadium after home Al-Masrysoccer_g_egypt-riot2_mb_600 team beat Cairo’s Al-Ahly team 3-1. People were stabbed, beaten, and shot after the game.

This is the most severe incident in recent memory but smaller tragedies occur much too often.

As negative as this article has been, this matter does not require a pessimistic view. Brazil is a developed country, with a stable government. Security will be ramped up for next year’s world cup.

We most hope that we can focus on what the world cup is about: soccer. We must hope that the looming threat of violence doesn’t prevail. Let us be excited for the game, and for the tournament.

 

Filed under: Mohl Gross, Soccer


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