Regardless of who you’re rooting for, watching football with friends – and strangers – at big outdoor viewings turns a match into a shared experience, as was the case for Brazilian and Croatian fans in Basel during Thursday’s World Cup opening match in São Paolo.
Emotions run high but ultimately the best games turn into one big party – unless you’re on the losing side.
In Basel, which borders Germany and France, several locations hosted events for an army of fans cheering for both Croatia and hosts Brazil. The Museum of Sport and the Terres des Hommes organisation have set up public viewings where people can get together to watch the games broadcast live from Brazil’s stadiums.
A sea of yellow and green T-shirts amassed to watch Brazil celebrate a 3-1 victory over Croatia. It can be difficult to tell who is Brazilian and who has merely adopted the team as their own, temporarily throwing aside their own national allegiances in favour of a side with a higher chance of eventual success.
Around 60,000 Brazilians live in Switzerland, many of whom call multicultural, urban centres such as Basel home.
(Photos: Thomas Kern, swissinfo.ch. Text: Alexander Thoele)