Football and Brazilian business slack off; The match days specials in Brazil

When Brazil’s team takes to the field at the World Cup, workers back home will down tools, pens and computers.

With the time difference, the games in Russia will be shown either in the morning or afternoon – office hours.

But football is sacred in Latin America’s biggest country and for many nothing will get in the way of watching the “Selecao’s” games, starting this Sunday.

According to the national shopkeepers’ federation CNDL, 28 percent of service sector businesses will allow employees to stay away or to watch the games when Brazil plays. Seventeen percent have already prepared viewing areas at the work place.

“It’s practically impossible for people to concentrate on work during a Brazilian World Cup match,” said Robson Melo head of Estante Magica, which publishes books by children and employs about 100 people in central Rio de Janeiro.

Employees at the business have been given a mini-stadium experience featuring dozens of Brazilian flags hanging, artificial grass and pretend terracing. Of course there’ll be popcorn and sandwiches during game time.

“We’ll stop for matches. There’s no question of lowering productivity, though,” Melo said. “Our team is young and used to working autonomously, with flexible hours.” Of course, the nationwide slowdown means business opportunities for others. That means that the overall economic effect is expected to be largely neutral.

Twenty eight percent of businesses will see a rise in income during the month-long championship and 23 percent will see a drop, according to Valor financial daily.

The government has allowed them to adapt their working hours around the Brazil games, “as long as essential services are not interrupted.” There’ll be no such fun for Rio police officer Ulisses Achur. “We keep working as normal,” he said.

The good news is that the city’s criminals are likely to be glued to the screen too. “We note there are fewer crimes at those times because most people are watching the game,” he said

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