Bolsonaro supporters call for boycott of World Cup to avoid resenting anti-democratic protests

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro call for institutional intervention after his defeat in the elections. – JOSE LUCENA / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

On the eve of Brazil’s first match in the Qatar 2022 World Cup, groups of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro have launched a campaign to boycott the tournament in an attempt to keep up the pressure on the streets so that the anti-democratic protests that have been taking place in several areas of the country since October 30 to protest the victory of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva do not suffer.

‘To hell with the Cup, we remain strong for a free Brazil’, or ‘I say no to the Cup’, are some of the slogans that have been running through WhatsApp and Telegram groups throughout this week, as well as in the rallies that swirl outside the gates of the Army barracks, where, between prayers, they ask for a military intervention of the institutions.

Now Bolsonaro’s supporters are not only protesting against the «delay» of the Armed Forces in taking action, but are also focused on trying to discourage people from following the soccer tournament par excellence, in which Brazil has already made its debut with a 2-0 victory over Serbia.

The real match is against communism’, ‘The Cup happens, your country stays’, say other of these slogans, from which not even the national team is spared, whose players are singled out despite the fact that some, such as Neymar, are declared supporters of the still president of Brazil, reports the newspaper ‘O Globo’.

«Our freedom will not come with the elections, 99 percent of the players play in Europe and the coach is a declared PT!», says one of these messages referring to the alleged affinity with the Workers’ Party of the Brazilian coach Adenor Leonardo Bacch, better known as ‘Tite.

While many of these followers are betting on leaving the World Cup aside to continue in front of the barracks as they have been doing so far or blocking traffic on the country’s highways, there are also those who have advocated using the soccer event to express their rejection of Lula da Silva in the stands.

In the last hours there have been new roadblocks and blockades in one of the main highways that give access to the Viracopos International Airport, in the city of Campinas, in the state of São Paulo.

Images shared on social networks show how those dissatisfied with Bolsonaro’s defeat at the polls have set up barricades and used their own vehicles to hinder traffic.