Brazil’s toxic politics stain the canarinho, the national team jersey


Omar Monteiro Jr. on a hilltop in Rio de Janeiro, ten minutes from the Maracana Stadium – the global cathedral of soccer – is the seat of the Brazilian progressives. You’ll find a flattering mural of the country’s leftist president-elect painted on the wall. What you won’t find — at least not on Monteiro’s back — is what may be the most recognizable uniform in the game: the yellow and green jersey of Brazil’s national team.

When Brazil starts playing in the World Cup on Thursday, it is favored to win a record sixth title, which is usually expected to be a happy moment for Latin America’s largest nation in a long division in the aftermath of a month of ugly presidential elections. The division is dissected at the top canarinhothe once sacred “canary” shirt, which was recruited before the campaign, in and after the vote by the supporters of “Triumph of the Tropics” – the election of Jair Bolsonaro.

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Seas of yellow and green have been set up across the country since the exit of the president’s aides protesting the electoral victory of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Many Brazilians, the adoption of colors by The Bolsonarians He has graced the jersey of the famous generations of the great greats of the game, from Pele to Ronaldinho.

“I have a yellow shirt. They used it,” Monteiro said, but “man, it’s very difficult.” [now]. They appropriated the way of the shirt. He is ashamed to wear it. It will become a symbol of the Brazilian extreme right.

Bolsonaro has been criticized for the release of the coronavirus pandemic, the aid trade of the Amazon rainforest and insults against women, minors and the LGBTQ community. The second and final election on Oct. 30 narrowly lost; Supporters have military bases to complain, without evidence, of vet fraud.

For the continent’s size, the land of societies that should normally share in the collective dream hex – The sixth historic title – whose global championship raises a deeply personal question. Are the running teams serving this year as a national healing season? Or how toxic political times — burning personal attacks, voter violence, false accusations of stolen elections — can leave permanent scars on a nation?

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The national team, typically a beacon of national pride, is now a polarized political microcosm of the country. Several players helped Bolsonaro, at least tacitly, with the clearest support coming from the biggest star: Neymar. The celebrity forward of the election posted a TikTok video of himself singing the campaign tune and joining the live broadcast. He promised to dedicate himself to the president during the World Cup.

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Tite, the national coach, meanwhile, publicly lamented the injection of politics into the affairs of the clubs. If Brazil, the winningest nation in the history of the World Cup, takes the crown again, it vows to break with tradition from the 1950s, refusing to join any team visiting the capital to meet with the sitting president, whether Bolsonaro in December or Lula. in January

When asked about the public draw of the war over the national shirt last month, he told the newspaper O Globo that he wanted no part in the ideological war: “I tell them, ‘the fight remains with you.’

Today’s national mood is a stark contrast to the electrifying carnival that gripped the nation in 2002, when the Brazilians were delighted as one roaring team in their record-breaking fifth World Cup title. In a ballot paper that Bolsonaro’s aides claim was stolen without proof, some have called for boycotts of leftist businesses. A few Bolsonarians have suggested that progressives decorate their businesses with the red star of Lula’s labor party, so that shoppers can identify their political allegiance – an idea some leftists say is a nod to the yellow stars of David painted on Jewish businesses at the beginning. The Nazi Party in Germany.

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The owner of a thermopolis in the Brazilian city of Goiânia said that his business has been added to the boycott list. The woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said her clients are moving forward, which limits financial loss. But she grew increasingly nervous as Bolsonaro’s supporters lashed out at her online, replacing her political views with private home photos taken from her Instagram account and blocking negative reviews of her case on Google.

“Perhaps these attacks have worked,” he said, “because I don’t think I’m going to talk about the state anymore.”

The yellow and green shirt is ubiquitous among the thousands of Bolsonaro supporters against the election campaign of the military rally in São Paulo in São Paulo Meridian during the election event, one of the many incidents since the election night. Some demonstrators called for military intervention to keep Bolsonaro in office. Vendors in the crowd sold popcorn in green and yellow paper bags bearing the World in Qatar logo.

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Luiz Cláudio Pereira, a laid-back small business man, was one of many in recent weeks who wore the national shirt outside the São Paulo military base. Bolsonaro, a supporter, said it was more a symbol of the nation than a national sport. “I wear the shirt of Brazil, not the national team.”

He said Lula’s supporters fled Jersey because of a lack of national pride.

“I think it’s a lack of patriotism,” he said. “That’s what they don’t want to wear. I don’t think it’s a symbol of Bolsonaro.’

Nike, which produces the official shirt, did not respond to a request for sales figures. Reports in the Brazilian press suggest a boost in domestic sales ahead of Brazil’s election – driven in part by Bolsonaro’s supporters. But Brazil’s alternate jersey, a deep shade of blue, has also gained popularity, especially among those who resent the association of the yellow and green shirt with the political right.

“The division of Brazilian society is here to stay. He will not retire because of the World Cup, said Marcos Nobre, a political analyst and author. “There is also a left-wing fight to reclaim the national coat for progressives. Maybe it will succeed, but people will still see the national coat differently after all this.

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In a nation where poor children dream of the slums of diseased genius, and where religious buildings are dedicated to the sport, the yellow-and-green coat has a history of being filled with wonder. It arose from an ignominious defeat – the 1950 World Cup loss by Brazil to the smallest neighbor Uruguay – and an indescribable patriotism. From 1953 he fought to restore what was then a predominantly white uniform, he had one stipulation: To use the yellow, green, blue and white of the Brazilian flag.

The winner, designed by 19-year-old newspaper illustrator Aldyr Schlee, was a shirt with a yellow field — hence the canarinho, or little canary — that included a green Kelly trim and was worn with blue jeans and white socks. Years later, Schlee would be imprisoned for writings that upset the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985.

In 1970, when the dictatorship signed the victory of the World Cup as a domestic propaganda project, and the general leader was in charge of the delegation to the tournament, many Brazilians withdrew their left shirt and vowed not to support the team. Some — including future president Dilma Rousseff, then in prison for dissidents — mentioned Brazil cheering anyway.

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Polarization around the shirt faded in the age of democracy, but came roaring back in 2013, when protesters against Rousseff’s leftist government seized the symbol. In the past four years, the Bolsonarian trade has become a die-hard trade, with the encouragement of the president.

Bolsonaro asked his supporters to be present on election day.

“More and more Brazil is being painted green and yellow,” he said on a podcast in August. It is not a cup; it is towards piety. Or because of me? Yes.”

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Some on the left are trying to reclaim the shirt of the Brazilian. Some, including Lula’s wife, park their cars in Jersey and make the L sign with their hands for the president-designate. Some versions carry a woven red star, the symbol of the Lula Workers’ Party, or the number 13, the designation assigned to the party on election ballots.

Others say it is too late.

“The Yellow Jacket is calling for military intervention in the street, calling for the return of the dictatorship,” said writer Milly Lacombe in a podcast last week. “I may be wrong, but I think the yellow shirt is irreproachable. I don’t see how we can recover this shirt.

Lula said this month that she will be wearing the World Cup with pride.

“We should not be ashamed to wear the green and yellow shirt,” he said. “The green and yellow candidates do not agree. It does not belong to the party. Green and yellow are the colors of the 233 million people who love this country.

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Some here are hoping that the World Cup will begin to heal the divided nation.

Juca Kfouri, one of the country’s most famous sports journalists, also said that the left Neymar will be released if it comes to date. “If it has a clean cup, people will come back. and those who hate him much will have their idol.

With Lula’s victory, Kfouri said “the sky of hatred” began to decrease.

“I think we’re going to have this world, people going to the streets together, not asking who to vote for,” he said. “Maybe a higher percentage of blues than yellows. Maybe there will still be people who don’t want to wear the yellow jersey. But people who don’t have blue will wear yellow anyway. Because it’s the color of Brazil.


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