The Eagles will open the 2024 season at the 49,000 capacity Neo Química Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, home of the soccer team “Corinthians.” They were founded in 1910 and are one of the most popular clubs in South America.

Turns out, however, that their fans hate the color green. They absolutely despise it because it’s the hue of their biggest rival, a club called Palmeiras.

This was explained to me by a local sports fan named Stephen:

“Corinthians biggest rival is Palmeiras. who are green, and also from São Paulo. Corinthians and their fans despise green. The club itself actually have in their laws to never display green. Like players can’t use green cleats. A few years ago there was a big issue about one of their goalkeeper jerseys having green. The club ended up covering up the green with yellow decals. All of this to say. The Eagles being the home team in Arena Corinthians is very interesting. With clubs being religion to many people in Brazil. It’s highly possible that they ask them to wear black or white. They for sure won’t be wearing Kelly Green.”

Fascinating! On one hand, we could say “go Birds” and tell Corinthians fans to go pound sand. Or, we respect their club history and go with the all-black or all-white, which would be a little strange to begin the season, but cordial.

It’s no joke, though. There was an issue a couple of years ago where a Corinthians player was FINED for wearing green spikes. A Reuters report:

The club said its directors “spoke with Jo about using the boots in the match against Bahia this Sunday. The player was warned, fined and will not wear them again, neither in training or in games.”

The two Sao Paulo clubs share one of Brazilian football’s fiercest rivalries and Jo apologised to Corinthians fans for what he called “an unnecessary controversy” over footwear he said were “turquoise blue.”

“I would never use green boots because of my history with Corinthians, a club I have loved since I was little,” he said in a statement published online by newsmagazine Veja.

Ah yes, the ole’ colorblind excuse. “I thought they were turquoise blue!” That’s the “dog ate my homework” of Brazilian soccer.

For some context, here’s the current Palmeiras jersey, which has various shades of verde:

I went through Twitter threads and (poorly) translated the Portuguese into English. Some of the responses are hilarious:

  • “Please don’t come in green… Corinthians fans (who own the stadium) hate green and this can cause confusion. The color of Corinthians’ biggest opponent is green.”
  • “I vote for (the alternative uniform).. LOL”
  • “green team?”
  • “Green team being the boss in the neoquímica arena, I’m already rooting for the other team”
  • “Fuck! I already liked this team because of the movie Invincible. Even though their uniform is green.”
  • “Obviously the team plays in green, so let’s all root against the Eagles, as usual. Cry Eagles cry.”
  • “How ironic is it that they put a green team as home team at Corinthians stadium?”
  • “they will have a heart attack when they find out that the eagles are green”

So on and so forth. They aren’t happy that the Eagles’ main color is green. It’s hard to tell if this is just internet bitching or if it will cause an international controversy, but I’m somewhat curious to find out. If the Corinthians fans make this into some big deal, then fuck ’em! Go Palmeiras! Otherwise, we’re cool. Ordem e Progresso. Vão pássaros!