Soccer is the most well known sport in the world and since Brazil won its first World Cup in 1950 support has reached fever pitch in Brazil. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to attend a soccer match in Brazil.
Choosing a match
The first step to attending a soccer match in Brazil is to choose which match you want to attend. The top soccer teams in Brazil can participate in up to five different championships per year. They are:
- State tournaments - managed by each state’s Soccer Federation
- Copa do Brasil- managed by CBF, the Brazilian Soccer Confederation
- Campeonato Brasileiro - managed by CBF
- Copa Libertadores - managed by Conmebol, the South American Football Confederation
- Copa Sul Americana - managed by Conmebol
It is worth mentioning that both Copa Libertadores and Copa Sul Americana are international tournaments. The complete schedule of these games can be found on each entity’s website.
After deciding which game to attend you must get tickets. This can be the trickiest part, as there is no unified selling system for any tournament. It is up to each team to inform their fans where they will sell tickets for their matches. This information can be found on each team’s official website and on other major sporting websites and newspapers.
For most major teams, tickets can be bought online, through individual agreements each team made with the ticket sales companies. While it presents more convenience for supporters, when buying tickets online you may incur a service charge from the ticket sales company and special discounts, for example if you are a student, are not always available.
Buying from authorized selling points
The most common way to buy tickets for soccer matches in Brazil is still from authorized selling points. These are often listed on the team’s official website and may include:
- The stadium where the match will be played - available up until one hour before the match starts
- The team’s stadium - available up to a day before the match
- The team’s official store - available up to a day before the match
At all of these authorized selling points cash is the most commonly accepted payment method, although debit cards are also accepted in some cases.
Choosing your sector
All stadiums in Brazil are divided into different sectors, with different prices for each sector, depending on the view and conveniences they offer. Normally associations of soccer fans concentrate on a specific sector and it is not advisable to be where they are since they normally support their teams a little too vigorously. It is not uncommon for quarrels to happen between supporters of the same team.
Ticket prices vary wildly in Brazil according to where the game is played and according to which tournament or teams are playing. For instance, every year the city of São Paulo hosts the final match of the São Paulo Youth Soccer Tournament in the Pacaembu stadium. There is a special price of BRL 10 for all sectors. On the other hand, tickets for Corinthians matches, one of the most-successful soccer teams in Brazil, at their new stadium that hosted the opening match of FIFA World Cup 2014 may cost up to BRL 450 for regular games in the VIP sector, with catering service included.
As the average attendance at soccer matches in Brazil is rather low, clubs may lower the average ticket prices in order to attract more supporters, but this only happens for less important matches.
There are some special prices that can be offered in some cases. The most common of them is half price tickets for the following individuals:
- Youths between 15 and 29 years old who are part of low-income families
- Disabled or handicapped
- Individuals above the age of 60
- Retired people
- In some states professors and directors working in public schools may also enjoy the half price fee
What is not permitted in the stadium?
The following goods are not permitted to enter a stadium in Brazil:
- Cold weapons, firearms and other objects that may result in any kind of violence
- Anything that can be used as a weapon to cut, stab or be used as a projectile, such as long umbrellas and other similar objects
- Bottles, cups, jugs, cans or any other form of container that can be thrown or cause injury as well as other objects made of glass or any other fragile, shattering or especially hard materials, "Tetra Pak" packaging or hard coolers
- Fireworks, flares, smoke bombs and other similar smoke or pyrotechnic devices
- Liquids of any kind (including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks), except if purchased within the stadium which are provided in plastic cups
- Prohibited substances such as drugs, narcotics or stimulants
- Materials depicting offensive, racist, xenophobic or political causes, as well as charitable or ideological themes such as posters, banners, signs, symbols, leaflets, objects or clothing
- Flags or posters with flagpoles
- Animals, except for guide dogs
- Any promotional or commercial material
- Spray cans containing gases or other substances that may be harmful to the health of others or highly flammable
- Objects with dimensions larger than 25cmx25cmx25cm
- Large quantities of paper and/or paper rolls
- Instruments that produce excessive volume of noise such as megaphones, sirens, gas horns, vuvuzelas and related items
- Instruments that emit laser beams, laser pointers or similar instruments
- Large quantities of dust, flour or similar substances
- Professional cameras that are not for private use or other similar equipment for sound and image recording
It is important to mention that every supporter will be searched before entering the stadium’s premises.
How to get to matches
Although stadiums across Brazil are often located in the middle or out of town, one thing is sure about how to get to them: do not drive. If you wish to avoid long traffic jams, expensive parking and flanelinhas, it is advisable to use public transport or taxis when attending soccer matches.
It is important to plan your schedule in advance, in order to be sure not to be late for the match. The flow of people entering the stadium 30 minutes before the game starts is very high so expect long queues if you are late. Also, it is recommended that you wait a little while at the end of the game in order for the larger part of the supporters to exit the stadium.
Finally, when going to a soccer match, especially if it involves two teams that have a history of rivalry, avoid wearing or using the colors of your team, especially if it is not hosting the match.
How to behave during the game
When attending soccer matches in Brazil, it is advisable to wear comfortable clothes and avoid wearing clothes of the same color as the opponent’s team. Also, as mentioned before, it is advisable to keep your distance from areas where associations of soccer fans are gathering.
As Brazilian society is extremely sexist and oral abuse is commonly directed at women, it is common for single women to attract attention that may be undesired. In order to avoid uncomfortable situations, women should contact any police officers that are placed throughout the stadium. It is also recommended that you attend soccer matches in a group.
Safety at soccer matches
Stadiums are not viewed as one of the most safe places in Brazil. As mentioned above, some quarrels may happen between supporters of the same team and it is advisable to take care of your belongings as pickpockets often operate in stadiums. Also, be aware when arriving at the stadium as violent confrontations from opposing associations of soccer fans are common between longtime rival teams.
Finally, choose carefully which sector you will watch the match. It is not a good idea to support a team when you find yourself in the sector where the association of soccer fans of the opposing team is.