Left-wing Brazilians are hoping to use their country’s first World Cup match to take back their famous yellow-and-green soccer jersey from Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right movement.
The Canarienho The “Little Canary” shirt has become the strongest symbol of support for Brazil’s national leader, who won power in 2018 but whose hopes for a second term were dashed last month after former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won the presidential election.
Lula, who will take power on January 1, is leading efforts to regain control of the soccer jersey, as well as other Brazilian symbols such as the national anthem and flag.Read:Vladimir Putin unleashes a new phase of war
The 77-year-old announced that he will watch Thursday’s match against Serbia wearing Canariño with No. 13 – standing for the Workers’ Party (PT) – emblazoned on his back. Leftwing football fans can download the design from Lula’s official website and make their own jersey.
“We can’t be ashamed of wearing our green and yellow jersey,” Lula told reporters recently. “[It] It is not affiliated with a particular filter. It is not affiliated with any particular party. Green and yellow are the color of the 213 million citizens who love this country.”
Marcelo Freixo, another prominent left-wing politician and football aficionado, said he would watch Brazil’s debut in Qatar wearing a yellow and green jersey in honor of his home team, Flamengo, as well as the Seleçao.Read:Mikhail Gorbachev funeral held in Moscow as Putin too busy to attend | Mikhail Gorbachev
Fascist movements have always confiscated national symbols, [but] Frexo said… We won the election and now it’s time to take back all our national symbols that belong to all of us. “The Brazilian flag, the Brazilian team and the national anthem have never belonged to the far right.”
Reginaldo Lopez, a Labor congressman and ally of Lula, wore a canarinho during a recent interview with the Guardian — a look that would instantly identify him as a Bolsonarista.
“It’s supposed to send the message that we’re restoring democracy and that symbols like our flag and our shirt belong to everyone, not just one political faction,” Lopez said. “It is wrong for someone…a political faction to try to appropriate something which is symbolic for all Brazilians.”
Not all left-wing Brazilians find it easy to re-wear the shirt that has come to represent a radical president who destroyed the Amazon and whose disastrous Covid backlash led to the deaths of nearly 700,000 citizens.Read:As Māori language use grows in New Zealand, the challenge is to match deeds to words | New Zealand
The reconciliation was further complicated by the fact that many of Brazil’s leading players – including star striker Neymar – are Bolsonaro supporters.
“I’m not ready to wear the shirt yet,” Priscilla Mota, 43, a publicist, said when she dropped off her son at school Thursday in the blue Brazilian jersey. “I don’t want to be confused with Bolsonarista.”
Andre Porcaro, a 41-year-old engineer from Eugeniopolis, said he plans to pull his yellow jersey for the first time since the 2018 World Cup on Thursday.
I think that the yellow shirt today – and specifically today – is not related to politics. Using one of the derogatory names of the outgoing president’s followers, Porcaro said, “If someone saw me today wearing the T-shirt in the street, they wouldn’t automatically assume I’m a pulsomite.
But will Porcaro still wear yellow on Friday? He said, “I don’t think so.” “Maybe I’ll only wear it during the World Cup… I think it’s almost impossible to separate the yellow jersey from this political movement.”
Freixo believes it is time to launch a counterattack against Bolsonaro’s tyrannical attempt to kidnap the Canariños. “We must restore and democratize these symbols,” he said, as Brazil’s players prepare to launch their quest for a sixth World Cup title.