Scolari backs government over Brazil demos

22 June 2013 04:47

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari spoke out in support of the national government on Friday, for the first time since a wave of mass protests began sweeping the country.

Some of the Brazil squad, including star player Neymar, had previously expressed solidarity with the demonstrators, 1.2 million of whom took to the streets on Thursday, but Scolari said the government also wanted what was best for the nation.

"We all want a fairer country, with everything you can imagine, and the people who are in government think that as well and are trying to do it. We can't just crucify them," he told a news conference in Salvador.

"You have to realize that the people who are there (in government) think that as well. Often, situations don't develop in that way."

"We all want to work together towards that objective, which is to figure out in which areas there can be changes in two, five or 10 years, but not in one day."

He added: "I'm optimistic and I believe that we have the potential for that. It's a situation that's not normal at the moment and we'll evolve progressively, from one year to another, so that in one, two, five or 20 years, we can have a better country, but not from one day to the next."

'Felipao' ('Big Felipe') had, until Friday, only gone as far as saying that everyone has a right to express an opinion when discussing the protests.

The loosely organized demonstrators originally called for a rollback in public transport price hikes, which was granted. But they have since widened their focus to call for better public services, denounce political corruption, and criticize the huge sums invested in the organization of next year's World Cup.

Source: AFP