Earlier this month, FIFA felt compelled to withdraw an article about Brazil from its website. The piece, a series of tips for World Cup tourists published in the organisation’s weekly magazine, drew scorn from many in Brazil after being picked up on by the local press.
The criticisms were largely aimed at a passage on Brazil’s attitude to timekeeping (“When arranging to meet someone, nobody will expect you to be there at the exact time”) and the final epithet: “A Brazilian’s attitude to life can be summarised like this: relaxa e aproveita – relax and enjoy.”
You can understand why Brazilians – particularly those keen on portraying the country as a place of business rather than some 24-hour beach party venue – would take slight umbrage at that last point, laden as it is with easy stereotype. But really, there was very little to be offended by in the text. In fact, to the critical eye, most of its admonishments were gentle to the point of glibness.
Perhaps it should not be surprising that Brazil is feeling a little touchy about the way it is being portrayed. With the maelstrom of scrutiny over World Cup preparations showing no sign of abating, the country’s shortcomings have become global news as never before. And they might have assumed that FIFA, of all people, would refrain from sticking the toy knife in.
Read the rest of this blog on the Yahoo! Eurosport website.