Football Confederations Cup. An appetizer of next year’s World Cup. Semifinal. Spain-Italy. The embarrassment is suffocating in the Castelao Arena stadium in Fortaleza. The members of the Spanish football team are out to warm up and are booed by spectators. During the game, each of Spain’s actions is strongly whistled at. The fans cheer on the rivals of “La Roja” with “oles”. The game concludes with zero points after the extended time. During the penalties the Spanish manage to pass to the finals. While the players hug each other, the spectators begin to boo again, not even giving them fifteen seconds of peace. The Spanish correspondent’s couldn´t believe what was happening and hesitated between merely attesting to what was happening or unleash their outrage. Why are the Brazilian spectators booing us? Why so much hostility?
Spain was booed in its match against Tahiti. Journalists understood that the spectators supported the weaker team. The same thing happened and thought about its encounter with Uruguay and Nigeria. But Italy is a powerful team. The explanation repeated by the Spanish sports correspondents is fear and envy. According to this hypothesis the Brazilian fans prefer any other inferior opponent in the final and are scared of facing the Del Bosque guys. The envy hypothesis defends that Spain makes the game you would like to do to Brazil. Is this why they boo us? Maybe this is only half of the part.
I´ll tell you about my personal opinion and not a football opinion. About five years ago I attended as a lawyer a Brazilian man without a residence permit in Spain. First he made a statement in the room that the foreign group of Alicante National Police use. There was a giant Spanish flag. It was so big they had to hang it sideward’s because it didn´t fit. There wasn´t a flag like it in any other department. It seemed to want to remember the foreigner his or her condition. Once they checked his lack of authorization, and in accordance with the law, a request was made for his placement in the Center of Valencia for Foreigners.
We were able to prove to the judge that the man, who lacked any criminal or police records, wanted to return home and was waiting for the granting of an aid to cover the costs. However, the judge and the prosecutor ignored this fact. The Brazilian citizen was interned and later deported to Brazil, in a city far away from where his family resided. I do not know what became of him.
The Brazilian public opinion made echo of similar cases. For them it was a shock and it contributed to damaging the image of Spain. An image of itself as unfriendly linked in Latin America with colonialism and arrogance. The Brazilians, like most Latin Americans are proud and have become aware of its place and importance in the world. For this reason and because they can afford to do it, they do not tolerate that their nationals to be treated as second class citizens. Nor do they tolerate if from their own government, so this is why they ask for explanations about the money spent and wasted and the end to corruption.
When I attended foreigners as a lawyer in removal proceedings, Colombian - Ecuadorians - Algerian - Brazilians - Bolivians, I always wondered what they would think of us. What I would think if I were in his/her place. Spain took the sad role of European border guard at the expense of our tradition and our interests as a country. I saw the treatment given in police stations and courts. Now we see as our northern partners pay us our services. I hope I'm wrong but I fear that we will soon see Spanish in police stations in other countries of the world, arrested for being undocumented.
They do not have fear or envy. They do not boo Iniesta, that plays like the angels, or Xavi or Casillas. Actually they love them. Perhaps they boo us.