Commentators (and commenters) have been speculating about how much soccer and the World Cup have to do with the mass protests in Brazil. The Guardian makes the link:
The rallies, and the violence that has often followed, were not solely prompted by the tournament. The spark last week was a rise in public transport fares. Anger has since been further stirred by police brutality.
Longstanding problems such as corruption, dire public services, high prices and low levels of safety are also prominent among the range of grievances.
But the mega-event has been the lightning conductor. Many protesters are furious that the government is spending 31bn reals (£9bn) to set the stage for a one-time global tournament, while it has failed to address everyday problems closer to home.
"I'm here to fight corruption and the expense of the World Cup," said Nelber Bonifcacio, an unemployed teacher who was among the vast crowds in Rio on Thursday.
"I like football, but Brazil has spent all that money on the event when we don't have good public education, healthcare or infrastructure."
It was all very different in 2007 when Brazil was awarded the tournament. Back then, crowds in Rio erupted with joy and Ricardo Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, was hailed as he said: "We are a civilised nation, a nation that is going through an excellent phase, and we have got everything prepared to receive adequately the honour to organise an excellent World Cup."
And in Turkey, prime minister Erdogan has said the protesters in Brazil and in Turkey are motivated by the same "forces."
Mr Erdogan was speaking hours before police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse thousands of flower-bearing protesters who gathered in Istanbul’s central Taksim square to commemorate four people who have died since the Turkish unrest erupted on May 31.
“The same game is being played in Brazil,” Mr Erdogan told a large rally of his supporters in the town of Samsun on Saturday. “There are the same symbols, the same posters. Twitter, Facebook is the same, so are international media. They are controlled from the same centre. They are doing their best to achieve in Brazil what they could not achieve in Turkey. It is the same game, the same trap, the same goal.”
While Mr Erdogan says the Turkish protests are linked to terrorism, an international plot against his country and “an interest rate lobby” disturbed by its recent high rates of growth, the protesters say they are motivated by increasing levels of authoritarianism under his government.
He's right, in a sense, if you consider people on multiple continents demonstrating against governments that aren't representing their interests as motivated by the same "forces."