Brazil begins World Cup preparations as protests keep raging
By Tales Azzoni ,AP
June 4, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
SAO PAULO -- Brazil's preparations for its home World Cup got underway Monday amid chants of protests instead of support for the squad.
The players picked by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari reported to the national team as a few hundred demonstrators loudly protested against the money being spent by the local government on the World Cup.
The protesters surrounded the bus carrying the players from their hotel in Rio de Janeiro to the training camp in the mountain city of Teresopolis, about 90 kilometers away.
The demonstrators slowed the bus down as it tried to leave and then got close enough to attach dozens of stickers with slogans against the World Cup on the vehicle, including the windows. They also chanted and held anti-World Cup banners, including one that read: "There will be no World Cup, there will be a strike."
The demonstrators were comprised mostly of professors and education officials demanding better schools and other improvements from the local government.
There were a few protesters when the team arrived in Teresopolis, too, but there were also some fans in place to welcome the players.
Last year's Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up tournament held in Brazil, was marked by violent protests against the government. More are expected next month during the World Cup, although FIFA and local organizers have pledged to try to prevent the tournament from being affected.