Many observers were following events outside the stadium, where police met demonstrators with rubber bullets, batons, and tear gas, injuring several in the process.
It was a familiar scene, as the image of officers in riot gear clashing with protesters in black masks has become as much of a symbol of this tournament as the green and yellow jerseys of Brazil’s national team.
“The Brazilian people have had enough. Everyone thought, ‘Oh, they just love football, as long as they see a football being kicked by a Brazilian there won’t be a problem,” Andrew Jennings, a British journalist who has written extensively about FIFA corruption, including in Brazil, told VICE News. “Well, they got that wrong. You have seen the demonstrations: ‘No World Cup here.’ That’s Brazilians saying it, Brazilians saying, ‘We love football, we just don’t want the World Cup here.’”
How one of the world’s most football-loving countries came to resent the tournament so much has been subject of much debate. Yet the “Fuck off FIFA” and “Whose cup?” graffiti sprayed on walls across the host cities reveal both national discontent with Brazil’s growing inequality and a more global rejection of the multibillion dollar machines that huge events like this have become.