Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of security guards protesting over pay

World Cup security guards have clashed with police after a football match between Australia and Germany in South Africa.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of workers who were protesting over salary levels.

The workers, deployed as match stewards on Sunday, said they were being paid only a fraction of what they had been promised.

One worker said their employer paid 150 rand, or less than $20, for the day's work, when their contract stipulated almost three times that amount.

Riot police chased the workers, who had earlier been responsible for the security of 62,660 fans, from the new Moses Mabhida stadium in the city of Durban.

"We were mounting a peaceful protest because they were not paying us what we expected and we were surprised that the police started charging at us," Sydney Nzoli, one of the workers, said.

"They fired teargas at us."

Woman injured

At least one woman was injured when she was hit by a rubber bullet, a witness told Reuters news agency.

At least two workers were detained by police, one of them after he handed over a pistol.

The 2010 Organising Committee on Monday said a meeting was under way to resolve the pay dispute.

The incident highlights the frustrations of the poor who feel they are not benefiting from Africa’s first-ever world cup.

South Africa has some of the biggest wealth disparities in the world.

Some workers' unions have threatened to bring the country to a standstill during the month-long football tournament if their demands are not met.

Ttemba Maseko, a government spokesperson, said "People will and must be allowed to raise their issues but we will not tolerate anybody either threatening and disrupting the World Cup.

"It's not going to happen and I can assure you let alone our security services, ordinary South Africans will not allow anyone to spoil this party."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies