After Soccer Loss, Leader Soothes Brazil With a Song

The loss to Germany has reverberated politically in a country where the fortunes of the national soccer team are an obsession rooted in a tradition in which Brazil has won five World Cup titles, more than any other nation. Brazil entered the tournament as a favourite.

updated: July 12, 2014 12:56 IST
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Brasilia: As her country recovers from its humiliating loss to Germany in the World Cup, President Dilma Rousseff sang a samba to express Brazil's resilience and gave no quarter to opponents who suggest that the soccer disaster may haunt her in the election this fall.

"Soccer doesn't mix with politics," Rousseff told a small group of foreign correspondents here Friday night. "We'll be discussing this defeat in Brazil for a long time to come," she added, defending her government's handling of the World Cup, which has unfolded without major problems. "It would have been more serious if we had lost outside the stadium than within it."

The discussion over the national team's stunning 7-1 loss to Germany on Tuesday has broadened into the political sphere: Aecio Neves, an opposition candidate, and his running mate, Aloysio Nunes, of Brazil's Social Democratic Party claim that Rousseff will suffer after politicizing the World Cup.

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