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

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Man City vs AS Roma

Man City vs AS Roma

Veteran Totti punishes sluggish City with landmark goal.  Full Article 

Phelps Arrested

Phelps Arrested

Olympic U.S. swimming champion Phelps arrested for drunken driving  Full Article 

Bracewell Back

Bracewell Back

Bracewell returns to New Zealand test team for Pakistan series.  Full Article 

Chelsea On Top

Chelsea On Top

Matic silences boo boys as Chelsea win in Lisbon.  Full Article 

Santos in ISL

Santos in ISL

Former Brazil defender Santos joins Pires at FC Goa   Full Article 

New Assignment

New Assignment

South Korean striker Park joins Saudi side Al Shabab.  Full Article 

Soccer On Turf

Soccer On Turf

Women's World Cup to be played on turf, FIFA insists.  Full Article 

Bayern vs CSKA

Bayern vs CSKA

Mueller’s penalty brings Bayern victory in Moscow.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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