Some Argentina soccer fans still in Brazil - seek new life

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Hard core Argentinian football fans are still camping on Brazilian beaches despite the World Cup finishing almost a month ago.

It is estimated that 160 000 Argentines travelled to Brazil for the event with the majority leaving following their extra-time defeat by Germany. However, tens of thousands have vowed to remain and start a new life despite running low on cash. Media reports say the fans appear to be overwhelmingly young and male. Most are in their 20s, and less than a third are women.

Brazilian authorities are worried that many will try and claim welfare benefits or seek a living by scrounging. Argentina is suffering an economic meltdown with high unemployment rates.

Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, who heads Rio’s tourism promotion agency, has acknowledged that controls along Brazil’s 1 255km-log land border with its southern neighbour may have been too lax during the tournament. “We were taken by surprise. In any place in the world, people have to state where they’re going, how much time they’re staying, what resources they have and whether they have health insurance. That was not done.”

Argentines do not need a visa, or even a passport, to visit Brazil. A government ID card will do.

Media reports said Argentine consular officials were helping to organise return transportation for people whose money ran out or whose documents were lost or stolen, but many were not interested in such help. – Daily Mail


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