The humiliation in the Fifa World Cup 2014 semi-final notwithstanding, Brazil is not without its charm to scores of Ghanaians who entered the country on tourist visas to watch the World Cup.

While 178 Ghanaians have sought asylum in Brazil so far, about 1,000 more are expected to request refugee status once the tournament is over.

With asylum applications, Ghanaians can apply for work permits and find jobs in the country.

The applications have been filed in the southern city of Caxias do Sul of the prosperous Serra Gaucha region, home to many immigrants from Syria, Haiti and Senegal.

Serra Gaucha has become a magnet for foreign workers but the local market is now saturated, federal police chief Noerci da Silva Melo told the news agency Agencia Brasil.

The police chief spoke of limiting service targets to the asylum applicants. "We have been able to provide special service standards to those who came to us but this is no longer possible." The applications have now been limited to 20 a day from the earlier 65 a day, he added.

The immigrants have travelled a long way from the football venue. Caxias do Sul is more than 1,600 km (994 miles) away from the venues where the Ghanaian team played. The team 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.

Sporadic Clashes

The Ghanaians say they are Muslims fleeing inter-religious conflicts in their home country.

Ghana has witnessed disputes and conflicts between adherents of Ga traditional religion and some Christian churches over the annual ban on drumming and noise-making. Experts see the sporadic clashes as not only about religious or cultural differences but that religion and culture are being used to express a deeply rooted feeling of marginalisation of the Gas in their own land.

According to the 2000 population census, Ghanaians are predominantly Christian, followed by Muslims and the traditional African religions constituting a small 8.5 percent.

The labour unrest in Ghana is also another reason for the job lure abroad. Worker strikes demanding wage hikes have become the order of the day in Ghana. The country's mining companies have been affected by a fall in the world market price for gold leading to rising cost of production. The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Seth Terkper, had hinted that labour wages would take up 90 per cent of the country's revenue.