Protests likely at World Cup in Brazil claims BBC Sport reporter : UPDATED

BBC Sport reporter Ben Smith

BBC Sport reporter Ben Smith

Protests are likely to be a feature of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, according to a leading BBC Sport reporter.

Ben Smith was sent to South America last summer to cover the FIFA Confederations Cup, a tournament which runs a year prior to the tournament in June. The games were marred by protests on the streets of Brazil.

Thousands of Brazilians demonstrated to vent their anger at the amount of money the country is spending the competition. This led to Ben changing his mindset from reporting the games to broadcasting images of the Brazilian protests.

He said: “We found ourselves in a situation that was no longer just a sports story, but a news story too.

“For a country that never had the bravery to protest in this way, it was amazing to see. It was hard to believe you were in the middle of it. I felt a big responsibility to paint the big picture and tell the story to people back home.

“It became a story about how the people of Brazil really got behind this football team rather than people burning the streets of Brazil.”

Ben told students at Leeds Trinity’s Journalism Week that it demonstrated how important it was find out the truth and report on what you’re seeing through your own eyes when covering a story, rather than what a story looks like in the surface.

He believes similar events will occur at the World Cup this summer.

Ben added: “The same problems are still there. Expect more protests, the issues are still there and it will be magnified 100 times in the summer.”

Yet despite the possibility of protests Ben Smith thinks that, in an odd way, they could spur the Brazil squad to lift the coveted trophy.

He then spoke about the crowd atmosphere in many of Brazil’s iconic stadiums during the Confederations Cup, and said it was truly moving when they sung their national anthem and galvanised the team to victory after victory.

Ben Smith also thinks that contrary to the South Africa World Cup, the BBC will remain in Brazil to cover news in the county as it will be at the forefront of sporting events for the next few years.

 

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