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SBD Global/October 10, 2013/International Football

Protesters In Brazil Disrupt FIFA Visit To World Cup Stadium In Cuiaba

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, Brazil on Tuesday, according to Andrew Downie of REUTERS. 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 FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke. Security "pushed the protesters back and the event went ahead as planned" (REUTERS, 10/8). BLOOMBERG's Tariq Panja reported the protest came "a day after police used tear gas, rubber bullets and percussion grenades in clashes with protesters" in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, venues for the opening and final games of the World Cup. Thousands "took to the streets in both cities to join striking teachers." Valcke: “Everybody has the right to demonstrate, but they should respect the rights of other people like the construction workers in the stadium” (BLOOMBERG, 10/8). ... The AP reported because of the demonstrators, Valcke "made a symbolic handover of tickets to workers at a different part of the site." In the southern city of Curitiba, a Brazilian labor judge "reversed a ruling that had halted construction at the Arena da Baixada for nearly a week because of workers’ safety concerns." Work resumed, but a new inspection "was scheduled for the end of the week." The Arena da Baixada was less than 80% completed by the end of August, "the lowest rate among the venues under construction" (AP, 10/9).
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