Sport and major events such as the World Cup can provide a small economic boom for countries. In Brazil, retailers expect an injection of BRL 20 billion into the economy – a sorely needed stimulus. Besides finance, however, it can also be a tool to spur nationalism and promote political agendas. In Brazil, as in many countries around the world, politicians and governments rarely miss the opportunity to use the country’s favorite sport in their favor.
The easiest example of such a relationship came during the 1970 World Cup. During Brazil’s years of lead, when the military dictatorship’s political oppression reached new levels of cruelty, the government used the Seleção to steer up nationalism, tying the love for the team to love for the motherland. The government’s public relations sector repeatedly associated the administration and the 11 players in yellow jerseys.