21 Shocking Images That Uncover The World Cup’s Dark Side

Published June 29, 2014
Updated December 5, 2017

The FIFA World Cup is always a roller coaster of emotion. We root for our favorite teams, boo when the referees make terrible decisions and feel a deep, unalienable sense of nationalistic pride when our team fights for a win, despite all odds.

Yet with all of the success and thrills presented by the World Cup every four years, the tournament’s seedy underbelly is hard to conceal. From increasingly violent demonstrations to brutal player-on-player contact to a thriving demand for prostitutes, it has an undeniable dark side. These shocking images explore the dark realities of the booming phenomenon that is the 2014 FIFA World Cup:


Fuck FIFA Football Jersey
Demonstrators continue to protest the Brazil World Cup games. Source: Imgur

Anti-FIFA Street Art
Street art conveys the anti-World Cup sentiment running rampant throughout the streets of Brazil. Source: Slate

Giorgio Chiellini Get Bitten
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is fined for the third time in his career for biting an opponent.

Prostitutes Learn English
Prostitutes in Brazil learn English in preparation for the 2014 World Cup. Source: NY Daily News

Red Card Demonstrations
Protesters hold up red cards to signify their opposition to the 2014 World Cup.

Troops Prepare For The World Cup
Brazil has taken lengthy security precautions to reduce violence during the World Cup.

Slums In Brazil Photograph
Rio de Janeiro’s impoverished slums are a steep contrast to the excess of the World Cup.

World Cup Dark Side
The Ivory Coast’s Giovanni Sio fouls Greece’s Giorgos Samaras, giving the team a free penalty kick.

Prostitutes at World Cup Dark Side
Rio de Janeiro is one of the oldest and largest Red Light Districts in the world.

Dark Side of World Cup Public Art
Street art conveys the complaints of Brazilians who do not support the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Security Teams Flock to World Cup
Security teams and military troops flock to Brazil to control protests and fans during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Gang Violence World Cup Dark Side
Though troops were sent to Rio de Janeiro to shake up nearby drug dealers and criminals, the streets are still largely unsafe.

Players Fight Dark Side of Football Games
Portugal’s Pepe gets a yellow card after arguing with Thomas Muller in the game against Germany.

Tear Gas World Cup Protests
People flee through clouds of tear gas in a June 20th protest.

Brazilian Sex Workers
Sex workers prepare for the surge of tourists at the World Cup.

2014 World Cup Pepe Foul
Pepe (Portugal) fouls Germany’s Thomas Mueller and is sent off of the field.

Violence Rio de Janeiro
Troops raid a pre-World Cup Rio de Janeiro to reduce violent activity in the city’s slums.

Michael Babatunde Injured
Nigeria’s Michael Babatunde is taken away on a stretcher after being injured on the field.

World Cup Dark Side Protests
Anti-FIFA protests turn dangerous as demonstrators clash with police.

Giorgio Chiellini
Italy’s Giorigo Chiellini is bitten by a member of the Uruguay team.

Anti-FIFA Protests in Brazil
Masses of people stage anti-FIFA and anti-government protests throughout Rio de Janeiro and surrounding cities.

And for more on the dark side of the 2014 World Cup, check out Vice's series Contra A Copa: The Other Side of Brazil's World Cup:

Enjoy these photographs of the dark side of the World Cup? Check out our galleries on everything you missed from the 2014 World Cup and astounding aerial photography. And don't forget to like All That Is Interesting on Facebook!

Kiri Picone
Bay Area transplant Kiri Picone is a writer and marketer who loves bizarre news and the color purple.