Protesters disrupt FIFA World Cup visit

Sao Paulo Wed Oct 9, 2013 2:48am IST

Demonstrators who managed to evade security and enter the Arena Pantanal stadium, protest over the public spending for the 2014 World Cup and for the poor conditions for workers employed in the construction, during a visit by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valckein in Cuiaba October 8, 2013. REUTERS/Jose Medeiros

Demonstrators who managed to evade security and enter the Arena Pantanal stadium, protest over the public spending for the 2014 World Cup and for the poor conditions for workers employed in the construction, during a visit by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valckein in Cuiaba October 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jose Medeiros

Sao Paulo (Reuters) - A small group of protesters demanding more spending on health and education disrupted a visit by FIFA officials to the 2014 World Cup stadium under construction in Cuiaba on Tuesday.

Dozens of demonstrators, many of them striking teachers and postal workers, carried banners saying 'FIFA Go Home'.

Some made it into the Pantanal Arena and then tried to invade a news conference held by Jerome Valcke, FIFA's general secretary.

Security pushed the protesters back and the event went ahead as planned.

"People are free and (protests) are part of democracy," Valcke told reporters, before praising Cuiaba's preparations for the tournament.

Valcke, who is in Brazil to check on progress in Porto Alegre and Cuiaba, two of the 12 host cities for the tournament finals, was booed, as were the local mayor and state governor.

Two of Brazil's former World Cup winners, Ronaldo and Bebeto, both of whom are on the 2014 local organising committee, were also booed.

The protests come less than four months after millions of people took to the streets in many Brazilian cities to demand more spending on infrastructure and better quality public services during the Confederations Cup.

In several cases, demonstrators tried to reach the stadiums hosting matches but were beaten back by riot police.

The protests are a serious worry for FIFA, who are hoping for a stress-free tournament next year.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Toby Davis)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Cricket

SPORTS SHOWCASE

Boss is Watching

Boss is Watching

No escaping Van Gaal's gaze for Man United squad.  Full Article 

Extreme Race

Extreme Race

Mountain bikers eye $1 million in 'toughest race on earth'.  Full Article 

Shock Win

Shock Win

Amos wins 800 gold to shock Olympic champion Rudisha.  Full Article 

New Role

New Role

Van Nistelrooy named as Dutch assistant coach.  Full Article 

Second Spell

Second Spell

Drogba still has killer instinct, says Mourinho.  Full Article 

Iconic Gloves

Iconic Gloves

Muhammad Ali's 'Fight of the Century' gloves sell for nearly $400,000.  Full Article 

Odd Man Out

Odd Man Out

Egyptian sumo wrestler storms his way into ancient sport.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage