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Brazil's World Cup defeat hits home in Lebanon

AFP  |  Beirut 

Brazil's surprise defeat in has stunned fans in the Lebanese capital Beirut, where supporters have long put their hopes in the Latin American side.

"We are all Brazilian, we all love to death whatever happens," said Ali, dressed in a skin-tight shirt, after seeing his heroes lose 2-1 to on Friday and crash out of the tournament in

The 24-year-old watched the match in the Shiite outskirts of Beirut, where Brazilian flags hang from buildings and shop windows are filled with life-size posters of players.

"A supporter who loves his team, it's in victory but also in defeat," said Ali, who works in deliveries for a multinational firm.

Millions of Lebanese have emigrated to since the end of the 19th century -- including the family of Brazilian -- ensuring enduring support when it comes to

Haydar Baddar, 38, installed a projector on his doorstep, which attracted dozens of fans for the tie with

Many in the male-majority crowd donned Brazil's yellow jersey for the occasion, while families watched from their balconies as the sound of drums and vuvuzelas filled the narrow street.

"Here in our part of town we see Brazil, the neighbourhoods and the streets of Brazil, and it's like our home," said Baddar, a shop owner with a neatly trimmed black beard.

In Beirut's southern neighbourhoods, "children play ball on the street. There's no ground -- when the evening comes, you see them playing everywhere," he added.

Brazil's defeat by brings tears to the crowd, met with mocking wails from some women at the end of the street. Baddar opts for firing his pistol into the air.

With residents enduring economic woes, and widespread social inequality, football is a welcome distraction from daily hardships.

"We're in a country where the situation is bad. This neighbourhood is very poor," said unemployed

"Football makes you forget. When you're suffocating, you go to the stadium and you forget," said the 25-year-old, who explained he dropped out of school because of his obsession with football.

Mohamed rallied the neighbourhood's youth into hanging Brazilian flags along the multitude of that fill the street.

The result is an explosion of colour, with the distinctive blue, yellow and green banner eclipsing the drab concrete buildings.

"There are more than a thousand... It's Sao Paulo," boasted Mohamed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, July 07 2018. 17:55 IST
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