My girlfriend and I go travelling together in Sept and as a big sports fan I've just discovered that it looks like we could be in Australia for the England ashes tour. A bit of a bonus as I can imagine it could well make for a good day out.
This got me thinking about other sporting events, but I need some advice please...
Our first stop on our world tour is Rio (followed by Argentina) and I was thinking it would be great to see a Brazilian (or at least South American) football match while I'm there, but I can't say that I know a great deal about it.
I suppose the main concern: Is it safe?
What kind of costs are we looking at for tickets, and who should we see?
We're likely to pass through Rio, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, and I gather that they all have they're teams. Has anyone been to a match and could recommend it / advise against it.
Appreciate any responses, even if there some general SA advice (Good hostels/recommended tours etc).
I saw a match in Rio at the Maracana stadium. It was between Botafogo and Flamengo.
As it was a semi final, we had to buy our tickets earlier, and we bight them at the Flamengo office.
I would certainly recommend seeing a game there, but safety is a major concern. The stadium is often packed beyond capacity, and once inside it's complete chaos. There are flares going off, home-made helium type balloons floating upwards that can suddenly drop on you, food flying everywhere, super-sized flags passing over the top of you, etc. but the main concern is the fact that 90% of the crowd will come from the favelas (slums) and these are desperate people.
If you do go, you can't dress 'down' enough (eg. worn out shoes, old T shirt, etc). Plus the wearing of watches or any type of jewellery (even a nose ring, earring, etc) is an invitation for trouble. Do not carry a wallet, and certainly don't have anything of any value in your pockets. In fact, have nothing in your pockets. I kept my money in my shoes, and took no more than what was required.
I'm not sure what your girlfriend is like, but she'll be a liability to you (and I mean that in a nice way). You'll have to look out for her, and if you have to escape a situation quickly, it might be difficult. Also, be aware of what's going on in the streets around the stadium, not just inside.
I was with a group of about 6 people (foreigners and locals) and we were targeted and left about 3/4 of the way through the game. Nothing happened, it's just that my local friends thought that trouble was about to come our way.
It might be worth seeing if you there's some sort of local tour group you could join that will go to a game.
It certainly was an experience, but not one I'd like to repeat in a hurry.
Thanks for the advice James.
Sounds a bit iffy to me, and I suppose a football match isn't worth that kind of risk, especially when it's not just myself I have to worry about as you say. I suppose the idea of going is to see the football, not worrying about your own safety for 90 minutes!
Does anyone know if the same kind of thing would apply to Argentina (Buenos Aires) or is it likely to be less/more safe there?