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In the Stadium and in the Street: The Brazil Soccer Riots

 Charles Nesson and Sarah Jeong  
Product number:
January 2014
5 pages
Product Type:
Workshop-Based Case Study
Link to Faculty Author Page:


The 2014 World Cup in Brazil was intended to be a landmark moment for a nation passionate about futebol; however, in June 2013, amidst event preparations, over a million Brazilians took to the streets in protest. While the revenue of FIFA surged from (mostly tax-free) ticket sales and revenue, the government set transportation hikes to finance new stadiums and infrastructure. Social media played a key role in the trajectory of the conflict, diffusing information, opinions, and culpability. The conflict went viral; the momentum became uncontrollable. As the upheaval carried into autumn, with escalating violence and crumbling rule of law, the nation reached a point of crisis: where would Brazil go from here?

This background note surveys the genesis and evolution of the Brazil soccer riots as well as the responses from the government and citizenry. It provides a starting point for critical analysis and moves readers to consider solutions to the national problem; educators might consider pairing the note with a negotiation exercise or a policy memo assignment.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify a systematic approach to problem solving when faced with an unresolved issue or new situation.
  • Understand the legacy of mega-events and Big Sport.
  • Consider the causes, effects, and reactions to protest as well as the options for establishing rule of law in a digital age.
  • Discuss how the Internet can help Big Sport to improve its image and contribute to society.
  • Practice working in teams and delivering policy statements in response to crisis.

Subjects Covered

Institutional corruption, national conflict, soccer, protest, rule of law, international organizations


Geographic: Brazil

Industry: Sports

Event Start Date: 2013


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Additional Information

Case Studies in Cyber-Citizenship

The Problem Solving Workshop: A Video Introduction

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