Tuesday 6 December 2016

Football distracting from grotesque reality of Brazil

Letter from Salvador - Host nation's inequality and poverty is the rotten truth at heart of this World Cup

Joe Molloy

Published 18/06/2014 | 02:30

A young Brazil fan stands on the streets of Salvador ahead of last night’s Brazil-Mexico game
A young Brazil fan stands on the streets of Salvador ahead of last night’s Brazil-Mexico game

We've had ourselves a fun few days in Salvador, not least on Friday when the Dutch blew our minds.

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Gazing out at the South Atlantic Ocean, Salvador became a slave-trade hub when the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century and it remains very much the centre of Afro-Brazilian culture; full of hustle and bustle, music, sunshine, god-awful traffic and a daunting kind of vibrancy which comes to feel very normal, very quickly.

The poverty here is inescapable. And the biggest cliches are borne out in the most cliched of ways.

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