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Remembering Brazil @Mexico1970: Social Media & Collective Memory Making in Times of COVID-19
2022-07-07, Malanski, Daniel, Kohe, Geoffery, Kondlatsch, Rafael
In March 2020 – following the rapid increase of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases in the country – several Brazilian sports leagues momentarily ceased to slow the virus spread among the population. Despite the record number of deaths caused by the disease, most of these leagues re-started by mid-July. Brazilian TV channels offered football match reruns as an alternative to fill weekly schedule gaps. Therefore, within a somewhat dystopian context of political chaos, deep economic recession and unparalleled public health crisis, the most-watched sports channel in the country, SporTV, decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Brazil’s third FIFA World Cup title at the 1970 men’s tournament by rerunning the six matches played by the successful national football team (aka Seleção), from April 14 to the 19 and on June 21. Focusing on Twitter, this article demonstrates how the moment provided content for social media narratives about the country’s assumed ‘glorious’ past, its fractured contemporary state and uncertain futures. In doing so, we offer insights into the complexities of memory craft within sport histories and nation-making practices.