Before the opening first match between Brazil and Japan of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup on Saturday fans protested 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.
Mounted police in riot gear were called up to keep demonstrators from getting too close to the stadium, with 15 arrests made.
“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 president Sepp Blatter tried to defuse concerns that many of the stadiums to be used in the World Cup Finals in 2014 were still under construction and they 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 at US$600 million.