July 21, 2019
Latest News

Brazil's Bolsonaro hogs spotlight at Copa America amid dip in approval polls

By Carlos A. Moreno

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 8 (efe-epa).- The Brazilian president was one of the main protagonists of the 2019 Copa America, attending three of the six matches played by Brazil – who went on to win the tournament – in an attempt to stymie his fall in recent job approval polls.

In addition to attending the opening match between Brazil and Bolivia, the far-right leader also took an unexpected Olympic lap at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao stadium after Brazil defeated Argentina 2-0 in the semifinals and participated in the trophy presentation ceremony at the Maracana stadium following the home team's 3-1 win over Peru in the final.

Bolsonaro's eagerness to capitalize on the tournament came amid a drop in popularity, according to a survey published Monday by the Datafolha polling institute, which pegged his approval rating after the first six months of his term at the lowest for any Brazilian president since the country's return to democracy in 1985.

According to the survey, 33 percent of Brazilians believe the controversial leader is doing a "bad or awful" job while another 33 percent think he's doing a "great or good" one and 31 percent say he is doing an "average" job.

The number of detractors rose only slightly with respect to the survey conducted by the polling firm in April, but the poll makes it clear that the president has lost some significant support after winning the elections in Oct. 2018 with 55 percent of the vote.

Bolsonaro had said he would attend Brazil's Copa America matches to test his popularity and accepted the risk of going to the final despite the country's leaders traditionally avoiding such situations so as not to be held responsible in case of an eventual defeat.

The president said that he would attend the tournament's final with Justice Minister Sergio Moro, whose impartiality as a judge in a graft scandal has been under question in recent weeks.

True to his word, they both showed up at the Maracana stadium, the same venue where almost all of his predecessors were booed, including Dilma Rousseff in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup and Michel Temer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games.

The decision came at a price: Bolsonaro was jeered as much as he was cheered during his walk to the pitch to present medals to the champions.

However, the leader did manage to walk away with a priceless photograph of him holding the trophy and posing with the Brazilian players in the stadium's field.

He also got a video, which was quickly circulated on his social media, showing him in the middle of the celebration with the trophy in his hands and in which some players could be heard calling him "mito" (myth), as he is known among his most loyal supporters.

Five days earlier, at Mineirao, he not only got a photograph clicked with Brazilian striker Neymar, who was ruled out of the Brazilian national team at the last minute owing to an injury, but went down to the field during half-time with a flag in his hand to take an Olympic lap of honor around the stadium in the midst of applause and boos.

The alleged political use of the event was sharply criticized by the Argentine Football Association, who described it as "political interference."

The body said that Bolsonaro's presence "did not go unnoticed by players, leaders and the general public as his political demonstrations were evident during the match."

However, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) did not find anything amiss.

"It is normal for presidents to go to the field before a match or during half-time," said the chief of the Copa America organizing committee, Thiago Jannuzzi.

Argentina's sports media also came down heavily on the Brazilian leader as several websites on Monday said that Art. 60 of the FIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations prohibits "strictly any political or religious act in or near the stadium before, during and after the matches."

Although the Brazilian players considered Bolsonaro's participation in the festivities normal and denied that it was being exploited for political gain, Brazilian coach Tite, with help from a CONMEBOL spokesperson, refrained from answering a question on the issue at the post-match press conference.

And Brazil defender Marquinhos, who appeared to avoid shaking the president's hand in some photographs that were widely circulated on social media, called it a misinterpretation and said he had already greeted the leader.

"The president is the highest authority and as citizens, we have to respect him. Whether they like him or not, that is not the place to give opinions," said Brazil captain Daniel Alves. EFE

cm/pd/dl

News history
Messi inspires 46 performers in Cirque du Soleil show

By Rosa Diaz

Filipe Luis bids farewell to Atletico Madrid

Madrid, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- Brazilian left back Filipe Luis bid farewell Sunday to Atletico Madrid fans as he leaves the club after eight seasons over two...

Zidane: If Bale goes tomorrow, all the better

Houston, USA, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale did not feature in the club's preseason game against Bayern Munich because the Spanish...

Lowry takes commanding Open Championship lead after 3 rounds

Portrush, Northern Ireland, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- Ireland's Shane Lowry fired an impressive 8-under 63 in Saturday's third round of the Open Championship to...

Pinot clinches 14th stage of the Tour, Alaphilippe in yellow

Tourmalet, France, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- French cyclist Thibaut Pinot has won stage 14 of the Tour de France on Saturday.

Barcelona bound for Japan with Griezmann, De Jong

Barcelona, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- Barcelona is scheduled to head to Japan on Saturday, taking with it newcomers Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong.

198 arrested in France following Algeria’s AFCON win

Paris, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- A total of 198 people were arrested in several cities in France for their alleged involvement in clashes while celebrating...

Algeria top Senegal 1-0 to win 2nd Africa Cup of Nations title

By Carles Grau Sivera

Tiger Woods shoots 1-under but still will miss cut at Open Championship

Portrush, Northern Ireland, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- American golfing great Tiger Woods played at a much higher level in Friday's second round of the Open...

Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 13 at Tour de France

Pau, France, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- French cyclist Julian Alaphilippe won the 13th stage of the Tour de France.

4-year prison sentence for agent involved in Casillas’ transfer to Porto

Madrid, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- A Spanish court on Friday sentenced soccer agent Santos Márquez González to four years and one day in prison for a scam related...

100 years of yellow jersey: a cyclist's dream and advertising gold

Madrid, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- The Tour de France's iconic yellow jersey turns 100 this year, a century in which it has endured as one of cycling's most coveted...

Matthijs De Ligt officially presented at Juventus

Rome, Jul 19 (EFE).- Matthijs de Ligt was officially presented as Juventus’ new signing at the club’s Turin stadium on Friday.

Chile joins Southern Cone bid to host 2030 World Cup

Asuncion, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay welcomed on Thursday the decision of Chile to join its neighbors in South America's Southern...

Yates earns 1st stage win at Tour de France

Bagneres-de-Bigorre, France, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- British cyclist Simon Yates won stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday.

Alonso: Formula One is not part of my plan

Oviedo, Spain, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Spanish racing driver Fernando Alonso said Thursday that he had a clear idea about the next step to take in his career and...

Atleti presents Trippier, Hermoso as it shores up defensive line

Madrid, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Atletico Madrid presented its two latest summer signings Thursday, Englishman Kieran Trippier, who says his priority is to learn...

Juventus signs De Ligt on 5-year deal

Rome, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Juventus onThursday announced the signing of promising Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt until 2024.

Venue test begins for surfing to make debut at Tokyo Olympics

Ichinomiya, Japan, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Organizers on Thursday began examining conditions for surfing sport, which is debuting at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic...

Froome named 2011 Vuelta a España winner after Cobo doping ban

Madrid, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Chris Froome has on Thursday been named the winner of the 2011 Vuelta a España after the original titleholder Juan José Cobo was...

Nigeria top Tunisia 1-0 in Africa Cup of Nations third-place playoff

Cairo, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- Nigeria finished third in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations by notching a 1-0 victory Wednesday night over Tunisia, who once again...

Nigeria top Tunisia 1-0 in Africa Cup of Nations third-place playoff

Cairo, Jul 17 (efe-epa).-Nigeria finished third in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations by notching a 1-0 victory Wednesday night over Tunisia, who once again...

Halep celebrates Wimbledon title with fans, sports legends in Romania

Bucharest, Jul 17 (efe-epa).-Romanian tennis star Simona Halep celebrated her maiden Wimbledon singles title with thousands of fans at an event here...

Trippier joins Atletico on 3-year deal from Tottenham

Madrid, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- Right-back Kieran Trippier has signed a three-season contract with Atletico Madrid from England's Tottenham Hotspur, the La Liga...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.