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Jun 19, 2013

Scolari wants 'peaceful' protests

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has voiced his hope that protests rocking the country remain "peaceful and democratic."

• Drehs: The stark reality of preparations in Brazil
• Vickery: Divided Brazil • Brazil protests photo gallery Photo Gallery

Reports of protestors making their voices heard have continued to emerge from the South American nation as the eyes of the world focus on the Confederations Cup.

But as news of violence continues to mar the protests – alleged to focus on money being spent on the building of stadiums – Scolari has urged the public to keep their protest within the boundaries of the law.

"It is normal in a democracy to accept demonstrations and for them to be seen and heard by the government," he told a press conference ahead of Wednesday's match against Mexico.

"My wish is that they stay peaceful and democratic."

The Selecao boss also believes the ugly scenes will not necessarily paint a bad picture of Brazil, pointing to pains suffered by other nations hosting major tournaments.

"I realise that the rest of the world might be talking about the protests but they may also be talking about something that is not the reality in Brazil," he added.

"Before the Olympic Games you saw a lot of protests and problems in London and England didn't stop organising the Games.

"People didn't stop thinking good things about England. In some situations we and the rest of the world have to understand the protesters, it is a democracy."

However, Brazil players David Luiz and Hulk said they sympathised with the demonstrators.

"People are entitled to express their opinions and to protest if they are not happy," Luiz said. "Only in this way we will see the errors and improve. Brazil has everything to grow and be a better."

Hulk added: "Of course, I grew up poor and even if, thank God, I am better off today I can understand these protests - they make sense. We have to listen to them. Brazil can improve in many things."

But with protestors allegedly hoping to gain entry to a number of stadiums during the Confederations Cup, Scolari has denied he would lend a helping hand.

"What can I do about it? Can I stop people getting in? Can I work on opening doors and closing doors. No," he said.

"We have to leave it to the authorities and they must handle those things as best they can. We have to do our work. We can have our opinions but it can't interfere with our work."

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