Put on that American flag cape, break out your caxirolas (even though they’re now banned in stadiums) and guard your ears from Pitbul’s soon to be ubiquitous anthem (I’ll just leave this here as an alternative). The 2014 World Cup officially kicked off yesterday in Sao Paolo’s packed Arena Corinthians with a match between Brazil and Croatia. For fans of the world’s favorite game, this match was a huge deal, especially for the people of Brazil, our gracious 2014 cup host nation…
Fans who tuned into the game got to see not one, but three WTF moments.
WTF moment #1:
At the beginning of the game, 4 doves representing world peace were released into the air. They proceeded to die just moments later. You can’t write this stuff any better.
WTF moment #2:
An own goal scored by Marcelo — a Brazilian defender — when a low cross hit off his foot and went into his own goal. The Croatian contingent promptly lost their shit.
WTF moment #3:
The third and perhaps most controversial WTF moment came in 71st minute, when Brazil was awarded a penalty kick putting them in the lead, 2-1.
It’s no secret that Brazil has faced some difficulties leading up to the Cup. With media reports of underdeveloped infrastructure, incomplete stadiums, civilian unrest and corruption, the global community seemed ready for this house of red cards to collapse, more so perhaps even than during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Preparation time is over. Playtime is here, and we can only hope that Brazil will rise to the quadrennial occasion. At this point, World Cup organizers have very little control over how the Brazilian population reacts to the games…but perhaps they can control the outcomes of the games.
Croatian fans yesterday were likely outraged that the turning point of the game came about as the result of a PK awarded for a dive so blatant, Fred must be taking tips from Greg Louganis (or his Brazilian counterpart. This dude?).
Watch here and decide for yourself.
Some may say that any seasoned referee could tell the fall was blatantly intentional. But if the PK was awarded in error, who benefits? Well, a winning Brazilian team means a happier Brazilian population means no dangerous rioting means everybody kind of wins. But really, a happy Brazil is safe, nonviolent Brazil – something the World Cup organizers and Brazilian Government need.
Conspiracy theories in sports are nothing new. Some just happen to be more real than others. Maybe Brazil’s PK was the result of a government/FIFA conspiracy to keep civilian protests at bay. Maybe Fred actually took a hard hit. Or maybe the ref just had some gunk in his eyes. Who can say?