About 160, 000 Argentines trooped into Brazil to watch the world cup matches live, but not all have been able to go back home. Some Argentines can still be seen in Brazil with no immediate plans to go home. Some of them claim they are broke and cannot afford to go back home two weeks after their team was beaten by the German team on July 13.
Some of these fans have been camping out in different locations in Brazil like the Sambadrome Carnival Parade Grounds in Rio De Janairo. Some of them say Brazil is amazing and they have no plans to go back home. These people lunch at soup chickens while searching for some odd jobs to do to enable them replenish their fast dwindling financial reserves.
According to local media reports, tens of thousands of Argentines are still in Brazil hunting for jobs that may not be in existence. Most of them are young and males in their early twenties while less than a third are females.
Brazilian Police has however refused to respond to emails and telephone requests to confirm the actual figure of Argentines who stayed back after the world cup. Officials are worried about having thousands of foreigners juggling at intersections for handouts, selling handicrafts, or relying on the social services the government provides for the large population of poor Brazilian citizens.
Brazil once had a gangbuster economy which has slowed in recent years, but still better than what obtainable in crisis-riddled Argentina, which has been is reported to have one of the highest inflation rates in the entire world and a shortage of dollars.
According to authorities in the Rio’s tourism promotion agency, it seems there were serious lapses with the way Brazil’s land border with Argentina was controlled all through the duration of the tournament.
The local media has reported extensively on this issue. According O Globo, one of Rio’s most popular dailies, “In other places in the world, people do not enter a country without officially stating the duration of their visit, what resources they have for their sustenance and their health insurance status. None of these were done”.
Argentines do not require any visa or passport to enter Brazil. A legit government ID card guarantees any Argentine entrance into Brazil.
The Sambadrome has been converted into a makeshift camp to help accommodate the large number of Argentines who came in by car, motorhome and bus during the world cup. The camp was however closed last week, and the last set of campers were evicted. According to media reports, the Argentine Consular officials came around to offer transportation and cash help to enable them go back home, but some of the campers were visibly not interested in such aids.
The stragglers are mostly adorned in T-shirts, ragged shorts and flip-flops, bathing frequently at public water fountains or some outdoor showers at the beach.
Brazil and Argentine harbor a deep rivalry over soccer, there were several instances of fights between fans from the two neighboring nations in Rio during the world cup, but the prolonged stay of these Argentines hasn’t ruffled any Brazilian feathers yet.