Brazilian federal police say that some 200 Ghanaians have requested asylum after entering the country on tourist visas to watch the World Cup.
BBc reports that the Ghanaians say they are Muslims fleeing inter-religious conflicts in their home country. They have filed their applications in the southern city of Caxias do Sul, in one of Brazil’s most prosperous areas. Another 1,000 Ghanaians are expected to request refugee status once the tournament is over, police said.
Brazilian legislation allows potential refugees to work legally in the country once they have filed for asylum. So, the Brazilian authorities believe many of the Ghanaians are looking for the right to work legally in the country.
Federal police chief Noerci da Silva Melo told the news agency Agencia Brasil:
- “This region – Serra Gaucha – is known as an area of full employment. It has became a magnet for foreign workers. You go through the streets and you can see many Haitians and Senegalese selling pirate CDs and watches. The area is overcrowded now.”
The Ghanaian football team, known as the Black Stars, lost two matches – to the United States and Portugal – but drew with World Cup finalists Germany. They failed to progress to the knockout stages of the competition.