Explaining Brazil #223: Can the World Cup halt putschist protests?

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro have continuously staged anti-democratic protests. The World Cup will be the ultimate test of these demonstrations' endurance

Since Brazil’s return to democracy, presidential elections and World Cups have always fallen on the same year. Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won their first terms as president on the back of Brazil’s World Cup triumphs of 1994 and 2002, respectively. 

The famous 7-1 defeat to Germany in 2014 came just a couple of months before a particularly heated election between Dilma Rousseff and Aécio Neves, the fallout from which led to Ms. Rousseff’s impeachment two years later.

2022, however, is a bit different. Thanks to the high summer temperatures in host nation Qatar, football’s biggest event is taking place at the end of the year, for the first time in history. And never before has it been so close to coinciding with Brazil’s October election.

Today, we’re talking about the 2022 World Cup and what effects — if any — it will have on the Brazilian political landscape. And, why not, we’ll look at Brazil’s chances of winning that elusive sixth world title.

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  • Euan Marshall is an editor at The Brazilian Report and hosts Explaining Brazil in the absence of Gustavo Ribeiro. Passionate about football, he has covered several World Cups from Brazil for a variety of international outlets, and authored A to Zico: an alphabet of Brazilian football, in 2014. 


Background reading on the World Cup:

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