Football and politics go hand in hand. At the time of the World Cup, it has become common to see authorities surfing on the popularity of the sport, even more so when the team returns home with the cup in their luggage. In 2022, the country is going through a delicate moment on the eve of an election. The theme, however, does not seem to arouse much interest from players.
on the podcast Football Without Borders #55, columnist Julio Gomes and international correspondent Jamil Chade return from vacation in style. At the opening of the second season, they received a special guest: Walter Casagrande Jr., a new member of the team of columnists for UOL Esporte.
Casagrande defended the Brazilian team in the 1986 World Cup, in a period in which the country had just emerged from the military dictatorship and was beginning its redemocratization process. Today, once again in a year of the World Cup, Brazilians live with heightened political tensions, increased polarization between left and right and threats to democracy. Casão, one of the central figures of Corinthian Democracy, criticized the current lack of engagement of athletes.
“It’s August and the Cup starts in November. Now these guys have to think about the Cup. I charge a lot about the position of a football player. As I came from Corinthian Democracy, I don’t understand how anyone says something that interests Brazilian society”, said Casagrande.
The UOL columnist recalled his time with the Brazilian team at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. At that time, the country’s political environment was one of a fragile democracy that was trying to establish itself after the military dictatorship.
“In the ’86 World Cup, there were two guys who had been with Corinthian Democracy since the beginning and who were important to it: Sócrates and I. We arrived for the preparations since 1985 thinking about the World Cup and that our duty had been fulfilled until the survival of the Corinthian Democracy. We played our role correctly. We fulfilled our proposal. When we got to the ’86 World Cup, our thought was the Cup”, said Casão.
For Casagrande, it is time for the group of athletes from the national team to express their position on relevant topics. “In the case of today’s players, they had three and a half years to take a stand on anything: rape of a football player, moral and sexual harassment of a president of the CBF, a Copa America that was not ours and they brought it in the middle of a pandemic… They made a manifesto of which no one remembers a word today. most critical of the covid-19 pandemic.
Team ‘only’ shirt
In recent times, the shirt of the Brazilian team has been used as a kind of symbol in demonstrations against corruption. This symbology was strange to Casagrande. “The national team shirt and the green and yellow colors of Brazil have always been on the side of democracy. They are still on that side, but they were kidnapped by a group that hides behind defending democracy and freedom, but it’s false. try to show the population further away that they defend Brazil. It is not coherent for this group to defend Brazil and the Amazon to be destroyed, the murder of indigenous people, the population going hungry, inflation up there, not buying vaccines”, he opined.
Casagrande believes that this negative view of the use of the Brazilian team’s shirt should soon change. “It became hypocrisy. It may have been misleading to a certain extent. But today the vast majority of people look and see a gigantic hypocrisy behind it. They don’t defend green and yellow; they use these colors. It’s different. But it comes back and the Brazil will enter into another rhythm, where the green and yellow shirt will return to what it used to be”, he concluded.
Listen to the Football without Borders podcast and also check out the debate on why Bolsonarismo is strong in the middle of football and the strange relationship between the CBF and the backstage of power. Casagrande, Jamil and Julio also discussed the reasons why the Brazilian team has not won a World Cup for so long.
Don’t miss out! Watch podcast episodes Football without Borders every Thursday at 3pm on the UOL Channel.
The podcasts of UOL are available at uol.com.br/podcasts and on all” audio distribution platforms. You can listen to Futebol Sem Fronteiras, for example, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Youtube —in the latter, also on video.