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September 25, 2017

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Great stadium, shame about the team

BRASILIA -- In moving its capital from Rio to Brasilia in 1960, Brazil made a statement of modernization. In building a spectacular new stadium in the city for the World Cup it made another.

All that is missing is a top team to play in it once the World Cup circus has moved on.

Brasilia, population 2.7 million, has the most expensive stadium of the 12 hosting the tournament.

Yet Brasilia FC ply their trade in the fourth division and their fans are unlikely to come close to filling its 72,000 capacity.

The city's raison d'etre is to be the place where politicians and civil servants concentrate on running the country and most are not locals.

Brasilia therefore lacks the generations of fan support that exists among clubs such as Sao Paulo-based Corinthians or Palmeiras or Rio sides Flamengo and Botafogo.

"Brasilia is a new city. The population always cheers for clubs from elsewhere and that holds back growth of a local fan base," Regis Carvalho, manager of Brasilia FC, told AFP.

His team have landed eight city championships — and hope to add another in the coming weeks.

If they manage it, the club will move one win ahead of Brasiliense FC, another fourth tier outfit who count Romarinho, son of world champion Romario, on their books.

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