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The Toe Poke
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Protests mar Confed Cup build-up

Protestors in Brazil held a demonstration outside the stadium which will host the Confederations Cup's opening match to voice their anger at the rising cost of staging next year's World Cup.

• Confederations Cup previews
• Drehs on Brazil's preparations
• Blatter: Stadiums will be ready
• Vickery: Brazil's money woes

Around 200 people burned tyres and blocked the main road outside the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in the capital Brasilia, where the curtain-raiser between the hosts and Japan on Saturday. Police and firefighters were called to the scene and the road was eventually cleared.

The Associated Press quotes one protestor as saying the protests against "all the money that was spent by the government'' on the two tournaments will continue.

The demonstration follows clashes between protestors and police in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo on Thursday over the rising cost of public transport fares. Police in Sao Paulo said that 40 people, some carrying knives and petrol bombs, were arrested with crowds in both cities more than 2,000 strong.

In spite of the scenes in the run-up to the Confederations Cup, FIFA has backed the Brazilian authorities' ability to keep order while the competition is staged.

Pekka Odriozola, a spokesman for the world governing body, said that the organisation had faith in Brazil's ability to handle security.

"We respect fully the right of everybody to protest,'' Odriozola said. "We are monitoring the situation. We are in touch with the local authorities.

"We fully trust the local authorities and we have full confidence in what they are doing ... they are ready for any circumstance.''

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