News

Protests could disrupt Brazil’s World Cup quest

Protests could disrupt Brazil’s World Cup quest

WORLD CUP:Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari attends the Champions League quarter-final first leg soccer match between Chelsea and Paris St Germain at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris, April 2. Photo: Reuters

By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – People protesting against the World Cup or in favour of more social spending could harm the country’s chances of winning the tournament, Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets during last year’s Confederations Cup to protest World Cup spending and a lack of infrastructure investment.

Smaller scale protests are still occurring in the country, which will host the June 12-July 13 tournament for the first time since 1950.

Scolari said he was not against demonstrations but the World Cup was not the best time for his players to be confronted with any outside issues.

“I think protests can happen,” Scolari said in an interview on Fantastico, a popular television show. “If they are normal, without smashing things up, then that is democracy.

“But I don’t know if it’s the right time.

“They are Brazil players and they have one mission. They can think, they can express themselves, they can say ‘I want a better Brazil, too’, but I don’t want it to be something that causes problems in our environment.”

When asked if protests could affect the players, Scolari replied: “It could, big time.”

There is concern that protestors will try to disrupt some of the 64 World Cup matches after they marched towards the stadia used in last year’s Confederations Cup.

They were often held back by riot police using dogs, percussion grenades and tear gas and police have undergone further training to make sure there is no repeat.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Recent Headlines

in National

Making headlines this week

AP703639293459_11

A look back on this week's biggest stories and the headlines you may have missed.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP10683327094_7

A look at some of the biggest plays and best shots in sports this week.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

ukbball

A look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in National

8 dead in Missouri shooting spree

missouri

Investigators say the attacks took place in multiple locations.

in Sports

Betting on the Olympics?

olympics

Come summer 2016, when the best of the best athletes climb podiums wearing gold, silver and bronze medals, Las Vegas gamblers could very well be counting their green.