Police have fired stun grenades and tear gas to break up protests in Sao Paolo just hours before the World Cup’s opening game.
Officers also used rubber bullets as anger at the money being spent to host the competition spilled over.
Some 200 protesters reportedly gathered near a Sao Paulo subway station with a red banner reading “If we have no rights, there won’t be a Cup”.
They tried toblock part of the main highway leading to the Corinthians Arena, which hosts tonight’s opening match betweenBrazil and Croatia.
Police managed to disperse them, making at least one arrest.
A CNN producer, Barbara Arvanitidis, was injured at the scene.
After a build-up dominated by delays to infrastructure projects, deaths at stadium construction sites and protests over spiralling costs, the football will finally get under way after an opening ceremony featuring performances by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull.
Much of Brazil’s biggest city resembled a ghost town after officials declared a partial holiday to ensure traffic to the stadium would be light.
However, thousands of fans flying into the country are facing a chaotic welcome after ground staff voted to stage a 24-hour strike.
As the final preparations were made for the opening ceremony, workers at Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao airport, which is expected to be one of the busiest in Brazil over the next four weeks, declared a partial walkout in a row over pay.
Baggage handlers and check-in staff will join colleagues at the city’s Santos Dumont airport – an important hub for flights to Sao Paulo, where England play Uruguay next week – in downing tools.
President Dilma Rousseff has dismissed complaints about the heavy spending and delays in preparing stadiums and airports.
“What I’m seeing more and more is the welcome given to the teams and the happiness of the Brazilian people with our team,” she said.
Brazilians know the eyes of the world are on them – and it emerged today there will even be some interested spectators in space.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station got themselves into the World Cup spirit by kicking a football around in zero gravity.
US astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson and German astronaut Alexander Gerst are preparing to watch the tournament from some 230 miles above Earth.
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12 June 2014 | 2:30 pm – Source: orange.co.uk