One day after a mildly amusing badminton match-throwing scandal dominated 2012 Olympics headlines, a far more serious controversy has emerged.
According to various members of the Brazilian women’s soccer team, they were the victims of a sinister plan by London officials to rattle them before their big showdown against Great Britain this past Tuesday.
A showdown Brazil lost 1-0.
Per Yahoo! Sports, the night before Brazil’s game, their bus broke down as they drove from their base in Cardiff to Wembley Stadium in London. They didn’t initially think much of the mechanical trouble that caused them to pull over, but their nonchalance quickly turned to angst when the “driver reportedly was unable to call for help and the squad was forced to endure an interminable wait.”
The weirdness didn’t end there, though. According to the Daily Telegraph, another London 2012 Olympic bus was brought in to pick Brazil up, but the driver of that bus “had already completed his hours quota and was not permitted to drive to London without a special permit.”
"It was a disgrace," head coach Jorge Barcellos said of the whole situation. "I wasn't impressed; a tournament of this size, and the delay in taking any initiative to resolve the situation was absurd."
As a result of everything that happened, when they did finally get to London, the Brazilian team couldn’t do their usual training session. Instead they just did a bit of stretching and went to bed. The following day, a slow start doomed them to their eventual defeat.
And that’s why they’re now crying foul.
"It was unacceptable," Barcellos said. "It is hard for the players to understand how this could possibly take so long. And playing Great Britain the next day…"
Did London officials really purposely mess up the Brazilian women? We may never know for certain.
But it definitely looks shady.