Le football contre la liberté

NEW YORK – L’an dernier, les autorités brésiliennes ont été prises par surprise par une vague de manifestations qui ont troublé les matchs de la Coupe des Confédérations, une sorte de répétition générale du principal événement sportif de cette année, la Coupe du Monde de la FIFA, qui se déroulera dans 12 villes brésiliennes à partir de juin prochain. Les manifestants, jugeant que les 11 milliards de dollars dépensés pour de nouveaux stades et autres infrastructures de la Coupe du Monde auraient été mieux investis dans l’amélioration de services publics indigents, ont été brutalement réprimés par les forces de l’ordre. Le mouvement de protestation a pourtant continué tout au long de 2013.

La Fédération internationale de Football Association (FIFA), l’instance dirigeante du football international, et les principaux sponsors de la Coupe du Monde sont, sans surprise, plutôt inquiets – tellement inquiets en fait qu’ils ont tenus des consultations avec le gouvernement brésilien sur les mesures que celui-ci compte prendre face aux troubles qui pourraient se produire durant le mois de la compétition. Pire, un projet de loi sur la sécurité devrait très probablement restreindre la liberté de réunion.

Mais la Coupe du Monde n’est qu’un prétexte pour que s’exprime un mécontentement populaire dont les doléances vont de la corruption policière à l’abus de pouvoir en passant par la demande d’un meilleur système éducatif. En juin dernier, un million de Brésiliens étaient descendus dans la rue. A Brasilia, 45.000 manifestants avaient occupé sans violences le district législatif de la capitale.

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