82% of Brazilians intend to watch the World Cup games at home, according to a survey by the Rio Commercial Federation (Fecomercio-RJ) found that 82% of those interviewed said they intended to watch World Cup games at home. And almost 20% said they intend to spend money on yellow and green national colors decoration of some sort – crazy wigs, hats, plastic glasses and banners.
Not to mention the ubiquitous T-shirts that 81% said they would wear on game days and Fecomercio-RJ says could mean sales of 16 million units.
Somewhat more significantly, Fecomercio-RJ says that sales of new TVs should reach 6.5 million, with 480,000 home theaters also being sold and a spike in cable subscribers, up by as much as 1.3 million.
“It is the homeowner who buys a new 42″ TV, decorates the house, subscribes to cable, buys a couple of team shirts. All this so he does not miss out on a second of the emotion of seeing his Brazilian national team in activity,” says João Carlos Gomes, coordinator of the Economic Center at Fecomercio-RJ.
The survey interviewed a thousand people in 70 neighborhoods in Brazil’s nine largest metropolitan areas.
Another survey, by the Studies Center of the Store Owners Club of Rio de Janeiro (“Centro de Estudos do Clube dos Diretores Lojistas (CDL-Rio”) says that it believes there will be a 12% jump in sales across the board in the city due to the World Cup. That is, due to World Cup enthusiasm and passion.
The banks and the financial institutions in Brazil have been authorized by the Central Bank to make changes in their operating hours on days when the Brazilian soccer team plays in the World Cup in South Africa. This follows the announcement by the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management that federal civil servants will work special hours on days when there are games.
According to Ministry of Planning Rule 491 (“Portaria 491”), on days when games begin at 3:30 pm, the workday will end at 2:00 pm. And on days when games start at 11:00 am, workers will be dismissed at 10:30 and return at 2:00 pm.
As for the financial system, on days when games are at 3:30 pm, transactions will be registered until 1:30 pm, to be confirmed by 2:00 pm. And on days when games begin at 11:00 am, registration will take place between 9:00 am and 10:00 am, with confirmation up to 10:30; and between 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm, with confirmation up to 5:30 pm.
Rule 491 does not apply to “continuous service” in the federal government such as hospitals.
Well, everybody else will stop work to watch the game this afternoon – Brazil’s first appearance against the mysterious North Korea at 3:30 pm (Brasília time) – so why shouldn’t the Supreme Court also do so. And they will. Two sessions scheduled for this afternoon have been canceled.
The Chief Justice, Cézar Peluso, says that working hours on days of future Brazil games will be decided as necessary. Peluso added that time off for the games will have to be made up by July 31.
Back in May, after making some stinging criticism of his own regarding the lineup of the national soccer team, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva excused himself by pointing out that all 190 million Brazilians consider themselves coaches, especially when it comes to the national team.
And then he added that what the country had to do at this time was pull together and hope that the team being sent to South Africa would do its best. All the Brazilian coaches, the many millions of them, Lula pointed out, have a strong tendency to be very demanding of their team. Even though it has won the cup five times the fans want more, more.
“It just seems to be natural for Brazilians to make comments about the national team. Judging the team. But it is important to remember that there have been times when everybody thought the team was perfect and it did not win the World Cup [Lula was referring to the famously tragic teams of 1982 and 1986 – with great players who lost].
Lula said that in his opinion the coach, Dunga, had built up a very good team. Lula called it “cohesive.” “Not a team of great individual players, but a good group that plays well together. With cohesion,” said the president, adding that he, together with the other 190 million Brazilian coaches, was hoping Dunga’s team would bring the title home.
Green and Yellow
It is World Cup time and people are buying national team shirts like crazy. And they will keep buying them as long as the team is winning. Good for the people selling them – everywhere in the nation’s capital, that is, on practically every corner in a city famous for not having corners.
According to Teodomiro Santos Almeida, it is a great way to make extra money (and pay off his debts). He owns a bar in Taguatinga, 20 kilometers outside Brazilian capital Brasília, but comes into the central part of the city every day to sell Brazil soccer shirts, having left a partner to run the bar.
“I have done this for four World Cups. The best one was in 2002, when Scolari (Luiz Felipe Scolari, the coach) won the title. I made 30,000 reais (US$ 16,800) that time. But last time (2006 – when Italy won and Brazil was eliminated in the semifinals by France) I wound up with 8,000 reais (US$ 4,470) in unsold shirts,” says Santos Almeida.
“But even so, I made 10,000 reais (US$ 5,600).” As for the unsold shirts, “I am selling them now at reduced prices,” he explains, adding that his merchandise comes from a factory in São Paulo. The team shirts cost him 15 reais (US$ 8.3) each. He sells them for 30 reais (US$ 16.6).