World Cup fever in Trench Town

Brazil and Belgium fans enjoy quarter-final match

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, July 07, 2018

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The excitement of the World Cup football tournament being played in Russia was felt in Trench Town, Jamaica, yesterday as vocal supporters of Belgium and five-time champions Brazil watched the intense battle between both teams for a semi-final spot.

At the end of the game, which Brazil lost 1-2, some of the South Americans' disappointed fans vowed to not watch the remaining matches in the tournament.

In the build-up to the highly anticipated game, the sounds of vuvuzelas, clanging Dutch pot covers, as well as dancehall music echoed throughout the community famous for producing a number of Jamaica's best musicians, including the legendary Bob Marley.

Young and old residents, the majority of them supporters of Brazil, stood in the boiling afternoon sun at Trench Town Multi-Purpose Centre to watch the quarter-final game.

Some of the Belgium supporters, having filled out their 'transfer forms' to quickly board the European team's bandwagon, expressed hope of seeing the South Americans depart the World Cup.

At half-time, with Brazil trailing 0-2, some supporters where on edge and vowed to discontinue watching the World Cup if Brazil failed to redeem themselves.

“Brazil all the way. Wi cyaah lose. If Brazil drop out today, World Cup finish today,” Jason Campbell told the Jamaica Observer.

Campbell, 41, who said he has been supporting Brazil since he was a boy, paraded around the venue with a replica of the World Cup trophy. He predicted a 3-2 victory for the five-time champions. However, at the end of the match the Observer was unable to find him.

Another fan, Valrie Brown, 60, told the Observer prior to the game that she has been a Brazil supporter since she was a child.

“Mi a carry dah team here from mi little. From mi mother and father days. Mi never switch yet. If Brazil go down, mi a go down with them. If them come up, me a come up with them,” Brown said.

The senior citizen, who had also predicted a 3-0 victory for her team, told the Observer after the match that she felt proud, even though Brazil were unable to advance to the semi-final.

Brown, too, said that she has no intention of watching the semi-finals and final.

Another female Brazil supporter, who declined to be named, agreed. “Wi feel good same way 'cause wi came this far. World Cup done now. Mi nah watch no more World Cup,” the woman said as she took a break from blowing her vuvuzela.

Meanwhile, a one-day Belgium supporter said she had wanted Brazil to go home.

“My team gone home already and me nuh like them (Brazil),” Nicola Thompson said, adding that her team was Argentina.

Edwin Patterson, who was confident at the start of the match that Belgium would have won, said he was fed up with the Brazil supporters in his community.

“Mi nuh waan dem win 'cause dem have too much fans. Every time dem win dem march all go Cross Roads. Mi tiaad a dem. My time fi march now,” Patterson said.

Belgium supporter Errol Dixon, who admitted that he is a 'wagonist', said he abandoned the Brazil ship two years ago after it got heavy.

“Shub out the Brazilian dem, get rid of dem. Out!” Dixon exclaimed.

Die hard Brazil fan Orrett Stephenson, who was emotional after the match, said he will never switch.

“My friend gave me 7-1 four years ago and mi still never switch. Brazil mi say same way. If you cut mi now, a Brazil blood yu see,” Stephenson said as he embraced his friend, Sheldon Brown, who is a supporter of Germany.

The event was sponsored by brewing giant Red Stripe whose trade executive Ernie Muir told the Observer that it was fitting for the 100-year-old company to showcase the match, given the fact that Red Stripe is the major sponsor for the National Premier League and the fact that football is big in the community.

He said that the game provided a great opportunity for the community to come together, “and anywhere the community is, Red Stripe will always be there”.

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