World Cup 2022: Brazilian Bremer wore number 24...and it happened

World Cup 2022: Brazilian Bremer wore number 24…and it happened

Due to its association with homosexuality, Brazilian players have long boycotted the number 24. A taboo was broken by Bremer on Friday during the World Cup match between Brazil and Cameroon, even if the Juventus player denied any political connotation.

The match between Brazil and Cameroon (0-1) will go down in history. Because on Friday, the number “24” in the seleção, which Brazilian football has shied away from for decades due to homophobic prejudice, was worn for the first time during the World Cup, without strictness and in accordance with FIFA rules.

Admittedly, this great history is explained in part by a change in the FIFA regulations. The number of players registered for each selection has been increased from 23 to a maximum of 26 players from the 2022 World Cup. But during last year’s contested Copa América in Brazil, when each team could call up up to 28 players for an exceptional title, due to the pandemic COVID-19, all selections have submitted the same number 24… except for the host country. An NGO even sued the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), to no avail.

Secret lotto game

The prejudices associated with “24” come from “jogo do bicho” (monster game), an underground lotto that appeared at the end of the 19th century on the streets of Rio, and is still practiced. Each bettor must choose a square that is represented by an animal and the number 24 is the deer number, associated with homosexuality in Brazilian popular culture, among other things because it belongs to the animal species whose males can have sexual relations with each other. In addition, the word for this animal in Portuguese, veado, has a sound similar to viado, which is an insult denoting homosexual.

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The appearance of the ’24’ on Auriverde’s World Cup jersey is therefore of symbolic importance. Both in Brazil, where the figure is taboo, and in Qatar, a World Cup host country marked by controversy surrounding LGBT rights and a ban on European captains from wearing the rainbow armband. It was center back Gleeson Bremer, 25, who made the 24th start in the third and final game of the Seleção. The Juventus player, where he wears the N.3, has yet to play his first two matches. The defender told reporters a week ago, “For me, it is a shirt like anything else, the important thing is to be in the World Cup, the number does not matter,” but he denied any political connotation in this choice.

LGBTQ+ resistance symbol

Cliches die hard, and some men refuse, for example, to sit on an armchair 24 in a theater or in a cinema, live in an apartment 24 in a building or use a candle 23 + 1 to celebrate their 24th birthday. Players have long boycotted this number in the Brazilian league, where few foreigners or the third goalkeeper wear it. But for some members of the LGBT+ community, it has become a symbol of resistance and protest. It is common to see it written on the jerseys of the overall associations.

In neighborhood tournaments between gay teams, it can be as desirable as “10” Pele. “We had hoped it would be an extreme action like those carried out by other teams, but it’s great to see that happen on the international stage,” Relson Oliveira told AFP. Founder of FieL LGBT, a group of Corinthians. Sao Paulo supporters, about the use of “24” in the World Cup by Selecao.

Until Friday, there were at least two uses of this jersey during a Brazil game. Both times in a friendly, where there are usually no strict numerical rules. Worn by Tyson in a 3-1 win over Japan in November 2017 and Roberto Firmino in a 3-0 win over Ghana in September, although the Liverpool player did not take the pitch. Times seem to be changing. During last Sunday’s Rio Gay Pride, the giant Selecao jersey with number 24 and rainbow insignia was raised with the support of the Brazilian Football Confederation. “We feel the winds of maturity blowing, in the sense that (it’s now more clear) that the number has nothing to do with someone’s sexual orientation,” welcomed the FieL LGBT founder.

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