Brazilian Ambassador tips Samba Boys to lift WC 2014
Brazilian Ambassador to Botswana Marcio Lage had three words for Brazil’s tension fuelled last 16 match against Chile. “Difficult to watch”.
In an exclusive interview with Voice Sport Lage said he could barely watch the penalty shootout after an unconvincing display by the hosts.
“I nearly had a heart attack,” he told Voice Sports.
The hosts went through to the quarter final after a nerve-wrecking penalty shootout against Chile following a 1-all draw.
It was a mach in which Chile forward Alexis Sanchez continued to show his class, running rings around the Brazilian defense.
Sanchez proved his mettle against Spain earlier on in the group stages, outclassing his Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta.
The ambassador who confessed to being a religious follower of the Samba boys said he has watched all Brazil’s matches since the opening game against Croatia.
“It has not been an easy tournament for us, but I’m still confident that we’d be better as the tournament progresses,” Lage told Voice Sport.
While he was not happy with Felipe Scolari’s team in the last 16; Ambassador Lage is confident that Brazil will brush off Colombia this Friday to advance to the semifinal.
He was however lost for words to explain the continuous poor performance by African teams at football’s biggest stage.
“I can’t explain it. This could be because other nations have competed in the World Cup for decades,” he said.
Egypt was the first African nation to make an appearance in 1930. From 1938 to 1966 no African team took part in the World Cup. (Wikepedia).
On the issue of football and politics Lage said the sport has grown so much to a point where it can now influence political decisions.
The Brazilian government faced a lot of criticism from some protesters who accused the government of using a lot of money to host an extravagant tournament when millions of citizens lived in squalor.
Demonstrators were a headache for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at a time she is seeking re-election.
“I don’t know what will happen after the tournament, but I believe the President would be re-elected,” said Lage.
Meanwhile the ambassador bid farewell to a team of six youngsters who left for Brazil on Tuesday to take part in the 2014 Football for Hope Festival.
A group of six (three girls and three boys) from the South East District Youth Empowerment Association (SEDYEA), were chosen for this life time experience.
SEDYA was formed in 2005 with an aim of channeling the energy and enthusiasm of young people away from risky behaviors which are the main factors in high incidence of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Under the leadership of its Executive Secretary Kitso Masi, SEDYEA has qualified for the Football for Hope Festival 2014 in Brazil in recognition of its outstanding contribution to advancing social development through football.
The Festival is an official event of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
From July 2nd to 10th 2014, 32 delegations representing development through football organizations from around the world will converge on Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the power of football for social change.
They will have a chance to engage in cultural exchange programmes, youth forums, play football and participate in the on-going FIFA World Cup Spectacular.
Speaking at a farewell event held at the centre in Ramotswa Lage said the kids’s trip to Brazil will go a long way in strengthening relations between the two countries.
“This is good for Botswana football, it will bring us even closer together,” he said.