Brazil fans in hot water as vulgar stunt gets found in translation

Brazilian fans sexually insulted Russian women in videos at World Cup

A number of Brazilian fans in Russia for the World Cup have landed themselves in trouble after circulating videos in which they sexually insulted unwitting local women.

In the clips Russian women are encouraged by groups of apparently friendly Brazilian fans to say sexually demeaning phrases in Portuguese, unaware of the offensive nature of what they are saying, or are subjected to misogynistic insults they cannot understand.

The videos appear to have first circulated on WhatsApp before going viral across social media, quickly causing outrage back in Brazil and sparking a campaign among internet users to identify the men involved.

Brazil’s National Council of Women’s Rights said the videos “corroborate the existence of a reality of physical, verbal, psychological and moral aggressions to which various women are frequently subjected to in Brazil and around the world”.


As the scandal grew, Brazilian sports minister Leandro Cruz da Silva condemned those involved. “They are people who are doing a disservice to Brazil,” he said in Moscow where he is accompanying the tournament.


Brazilian authorities are now waiting to see if Russian prosecutors bring charges against those seen in the videos while an investigation into the affair has been opened by prosecutors back in Brazil to see if the men involved can be charged with causing injury.

Some of the men in the videos are already suffering consequences for their actions. One of those identified has been fired by his employer, the airline Latam, while the behaviour of a lawyer appearing in one clip was roundly condemned by Brazil’s bar association.

A police officer from the south of Brazil had an administrative disciplinary procedure opened into his actions after he was named online while The Intercept Brasil news site said it had identified another participant as a former public official who was arrested in 2015 as part of a corruption investigation.

Several of those caught on the videos have since apologised. One supporter identified just as Josué told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper: "I am sorry I appeared in this, but Brazilians, when they see a camera, want to get in front of it."

Fans in Russia from Colombia and Mexico have also created controversy with similar videos emerging of them offending local women with whom they were socialising.

Tournament organiser Fifa has also once again fined Mexico after their fans persisted with long-criticised homophobic chants during their team's game against Germany last Sunday.

Tom Hennigan

Tom Hennigan

Tom Hennigan is a contributor to The Irish Times based in South America