Indigenous people, foreigners and the local population share the party in Cuiabá

19/06/2014 - 01:27
Pantanal Arena was full once more this Tuesday for the match between Russia and South Korea

Helson França#Indigenous people from the Bakairi and Paresi tribes watched the match at the Pantanal Arena

The Pantanal Arena in Cuiabá was also full for the second 2014 FIFA World Cup match held there. The match this Tuesday (17.06), between Russia and Korea attracted 37,603 people to the stadium.

Thousands of South Koreans and Russians travelled long distances to be there. They blended in with local supporters, leading a beautiful celebration, which started hours before the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

A group of 23 indigenous people from the Bakairi tribe, and ten from the Paresi people went to the stadium to watch the game. They were given tickets that were donated by FIFA to the federal government. Representing 62 Paresis villages, Nedino Maizokie, one of the ethnicity’s main leaders said that he was going home happy. “It was very thrilling. We, indigenous people, are here and we also like football played by the white man. Taking part in a World Cup is special”, he stated.

For Chief Mario Bakairi, indigenous attendance in the event is necessary because they represent an important part of Brazil's history, life and culture. “It's a demonstration of respect for our people and culture”, he pointed out.


The interaction between the visitors and the locals, particularly Russians and South Koreans stood out. The party vibe prevailed. Singing, dancing, drums, hugs and attempts to communicate with one another with sign language were reason for a lot of smiles and laughs.

From Siberia, Russian journalists Irina and Katy showed to be impressed by everyone’s hospitality. Thrilled, they also gave out free hugs, as written on the sign made at that moment. “It’s very different from where we live. The human warmth here is really lovely", stated Katy.

A few metres from there, South Korean beat some drums and yelled war cries. After the arrival of Kim Heung Kook, famous South Korean singer and official motivator of the Asian supporters, the party got even bigger. Whatever Kim shouted, the South Korean supporters responded with jumps and chants. “I have no idea of what they’re saying, but it’s really cool and funny to see”, said university student Andressa Moraes, one of the locals.

Pantanal Arena

No problems were identified when fans arrived and left the stadium. In all, there were 319 buses to transport fans to the venue.

Volunteers helped, providing information in Portuguese, English and Spanish. There were no records of medical care being needed. The stadium's operation was in general, praised by fans.

Before the game, a Romanian national was arrested in the surrounding area of the ground for ticket touting. He was trying to sell 50 tickets for the Russia and South Korea match that had already been cancelled. He was taken to the tourist police station.

Helson França - World Cup Portal


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