Brazil's World Cup crowd mostly white, wealthy: survey

Posted at 06/30/14 3:30 PM

Empty seats are seen in the crowd during the 2014 World Cup Group E soccer match between Honduras and Switzerland at the Amazonia arena in Manaus June 25, 2014. Photo by Dominic Ebenbichler, Reuters.

BRASÍLIA - Most Brazilians attending World Cup matches are white, wealthy and dissatisfied with leftist President Dilma Rousseff's government, said a survey published Sunday.

Of the Brazilian fans attending Saturday's round of 16 match between the host nation and Chile, 75 percent were men, 67 percent were white and 90 percent were middle-class or wealthier, pollsters Datafolha found.

It said there was little sign in the stadiums of the rising middle class that has emerged under Rousseff and her predecessor, fellow leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Only nine percent of Brazilian fans were from the so-called "C Class," the lower-middle-class income bracket defined as monthly earnings of $500 to $2,000 -- which now covers 49 percent of Brazil's population.

Sixty percent of those interviewed said their incomes were more than 10 times the minimum wage of 724 reals ($320) per month, Datafolha said.

The racial make-up of the crowd was also different from Brazil as a whole: More than half the country's 200 million people have African roots.

Datafolha said 55 percent of those interviewed disapproved of Rousseff's performance, nearly double the figure in its June poll of the general population, when just 28 percent of people said they disapproved of the president's performance.

However, 61 percent of respondents said they did not think it was right that fans shouted a profanity-laced insult at Rousseff at the World Cup opening match in Sao Paulo on June 12.

The jeers caused controversy in Brazil, where many Rousseff supporters said they only reflected the views of a wealthy minority.

Rousseff is up for reelection in October and faces growing discontent over an economic slowdown, rising inflation, accusations of corruption and the record $11 billion spent on the World Cup.

But she currently leads in the polls, with 39 percent of voters backing her candidacy, according to a CNI Ibope survey earlier this month.

Her top rival, Social Democratic Senator Aecio Neves, had 21 percent support, and socialist ex-governor Eduardo Campos, a former ally, 10 percent.

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