[QODLink]
Americas

Protests overshadow football final in Brazil

Violent clashes between demonstrators and police taint host nation's victory over Spain at Confederations Cup match.

Last Modified: 01 Jul 2013 10:36
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Protesters hurling petrol bombs have clashed with riot police in Brazil at the Confederations Cup football match, overshadowing the host nation's victory over world champions Spain in the final.

A fiesta of football inside Rio's iconic Maracana Stadium saw Brazil triumph 3-0 over Spain on Sunday, to seal their third title in a row, but the last day of the tournament saw no let-up in the protests that have taken place throughout the event.

More than a million Brazilians had taken to the streets during the tournament, venting anger at the estimated $15bn being spent on the Confederations Cup and World Cup in 2014 while bemoaning the South American country's public services.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff - who was booed when she appeared alongside FIFA President Sepp Blatter at the opening game in Brasilia two weeks ago - declined to attend Sunday's game.

Instead Rousseff, whose popularity has plunged since the start of the unrest, issued a congratulatory message to the victorious Brazilian team.

"In this memorable campaign, our athletes showed joy, creativity, team spirit and unity which conquered all Brazilians and they offered the world a great spectacle," Rousseff.

"Today I joined all Brazilians in celebrating this great victory."

Before kick-off outside the stadium a small group of hooded protesters, some armed with screwdrivers and slingshots, lit a fire in the street and hurled stones at police who responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets as helicopters circled overhead.

"Unfortunately, the incidents were started by protesters who hurled makeshift bombs and stones at police," Henrique Guelber, of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights, told the G1 news website.

More than 11,000 police and troops were mobilised to ensure security for 78,000 fans at the Maracana as protests continued.

"We are against the privatisation of the stadium and forced housing displacement, linked to the 2014 World Cup and the [2016 Rio summer] Olympics," said Renato Cosentino, a spokesman for one of the groups sponsoring Sunday's protest.

Al Jazeera's Adam Raney, reporting from Rio de Janeiro, said that protests were likely to continue, though it was unclear what the protesters would direct their energy at with the football tournament wrapped up.

361

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list