Thursday, 20 June 2013

Howard Webb 'moved' by Brazil singing

Howard Webb © Action Images

English referee Howard Webb was "really moved" by the a cappella rendition of the Brazilian national anthem sung by fans before Brazil's 2-0 Confederations Cup win over Mexico on Wednesday, according to Selecao coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The match at Fortaleza's Estadio Castelao took place amid a highly charged atmosphere after some 15 000 demonstrators assembled outside the stadium before the game, prompting violent skirmishes with police.
The clashes followed days of mass protests across Brazil in protest at public transport price increases and the use of public funds for the organisation of the Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup.
The singing of the Brazilian anthem proved particularly emotional, with fans and players spontaneously joining in to sing together after the music finished playing over the stadium's public address system.
"He told me that he had never in his life been present for something like that – the music stopping and people continuing to sing," Scolari said of Webb's reaction.
"He told me: 'Felipe, it really moved me.' Coming from an Englishman, that says a lot.
"We have to thank the people of Fortaleza for their support, which scared the Mexico team a bit at the start, and that's what we needed to do."