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  • People demonstrate against presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Rio de Janeiro.

    People demonstrate against presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Rio de Janeiro. | Photo: Reuters.

Published 17 October 2018

Soccer Fans in Brazil’s Major Cities Speak out Against Bolsonaro

In the context of Brazil’s 2018 presidential election, the country has seen the emergence of several groupings of soccer fans who have linked themselves to #EleNao movement to reject the possibility of Jair Bolsonaro --leader of the Social Liberal Party-- who, according to polls, looks to win the second round of voting which will be held on October 28th.

RELATED:
Ronaldinho, Rivaldo Get Backlash After Supporting Bolsonaro.

In Rio de Janeiro, Flamengo Antifascista (Anti-Fascist Flamengo) is a group of fans belonging to Brazil’s largest soccer team (with 30,499,000 followers), stated, “Flamenco is the country’s largest fanbase of any soccer team. It groups all social levels, from men and women, to blacks and whites, young and old (...) any declaration by Bolsonaro and his vice president, Mourao, containing prejudice is unacceptable, most of all towards the poor, black populations and women.”

Cleber, one of Esquerda Vascaína’s (left-leaning faction within Vasco, Brazil’s fifth largest team with approximately 9,148,000 fans) representatives stated,  “the stadium constitutes a space which can be very male chauvinist, homophobic and misogynist. Women feel uncomfortable, gays feel uncomfortable and his (Bolsonaro) victory will reinforce the stadium as a place where ‘some people’ can’t attend.”   

In Sao Paulo, the president of Gavioes (Brazil’s second largest team with 26,235,000 fans) said, “first, I have to tell some of you who are supporting a person (Bolsonaro) who goes against all the ideas we stand up for and who could throw away our past struggles, reason for which I plead with you if you are going to keep supporting him you should rethink your path within our institution (...) On your way out you can come by the directive’s room and sing your resignations.”

On the other hand, star soccer players such as Ronaldinho and Rivaldo have lead efforts in support of Bolsonaro.

The momentum of the #EleNao movement is gaining strength. The support it has received from different kinds of soccer fan groups --the biggest sports event in Brazil and Latin America-- which have joined the movement’s protests are an example of this.

The #EleNao movement, supported by groups of fans from Brazil’s biggest soccer teams, is one of several expressions of popular discontent against neoliberal leaders in Latin America, such as the Argentine president Mauricio Macri and the Colombian president Ivan Duque, whose policies and actions threaten to deepen the exclusion and marginalization of blacks, indigenous people, women, amongst other groups in society.


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