Confederations Cup opener sees protests against World Cup costs
The build-up to the opening match of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brasilia on Saturday (15 June) witnessed protests about the high cost of Brazil’s staging of the 2014 World Cup.
The Associated Press reported that around 1,000 protesters demonstrated in front of the National Stadium just hours before Brazil defeated Japan 3-0.
Riot and mounted police were called up to keep demonstrators from getting too close to the stadium, with 15 arrests made.
The game wasn’t affected as protestors demonstrated against the local government, stating too much money was being spent on the World Cup while the majority of the population continued to struggle.
“We are demanding more respect to the population,” said 21-year-old Vinicius de Assis, one of the protesters. “They are building these overpriced stadiums and are not worrying about the situation of their own people.”
FIFA also came under fire for the supposed demands it is making on the Brazilian government, while ticket prices were also a source of discontent.
“I’m upset that all public money for construction, hospitals and schools is being used to build stadiums without any utility,” said student Ana Leticia Ribeiro. “After the World Cup, no one will use this.”
Brasilia’s stadium was the most expensive out of the six Confederations Cup venues, with a price tag of around US$600 million.
Protests against rising bus and subway fares have also taken place in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in recent weeks and Sunday’s game between Italy and Mexico at the Maracana was also marred by protests. However, FIFA on Friday said it has “full confidence” that Brazilian authorities can manage disorder in the streets.