From the inauguration of a politically charged favela cable car to the sacking of top newspaper O Globo's Rio editor, July was more than just soccer in Brazil.
When Brazil decided to host the World Cup there was hope that both rich and poor citizens could see games live on their home turf. That hasn't been the case.
The extremist Somalis have killed soccer fans and bombed stadiums. But it seems their jihadis love the beautiful game and have their own 'halal' team. A score requires an 'Alahu Akbar!'
Determined but impecunious enthusiasts have braved lawless borders, overcrowded minibuses, and perilous river crossings to keep costs down en route to Manaus, Brazil.
Soccer has become the latest target for Venezuela's beleaguered political opposition as it tries to use the World Cup craze to keep pressure on embattled President Nicolás Maduro.
Mexico soccer fans regularly chant a homophobic slur during opposition goal kicks. Fans of El Tri – along with Brazil, Croatia, and Russia – are now under investigation by FIFA.
As the northwestern city of Rio Branco prepares for the World Cup, some wonder whether its failed bid in 2009 to be one of the host cities was a blessing in disguise.
The host team, Brazil, faces off against Croatia in the first match of the World Cup today.