World Cup protests continue in Brazil, snarl Rio traffic (PHOTOS)
Several demonstrations aimed at Brazil’s upcoming World Cup tournament took place in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, snarling traffic towards the city center.
At least two distinct protests gathered in Rio, organized mainly through online social networks, O Globo reported.
As with previous unrest in the country, many of those who showed up to Friday's events covered their faces with masks and wore dark clothing, holding signs with slogans such as “We want schools, subways, trains, buses, and standard hospitals FIFA.” A large group of teachers was said to have taken part in Friday’s mobilization.
The Latin American country has seen its share of riled demonstrators in the run-up to the World Cup. Protestors have come to link the exorbitant sums spent in preparation for the football tournament as a symptom of government corruption and ineptitude.
Many Brazilians feel that funds which have gone towards World Cup preparations should have been invested into transportation infrastructure and government services, chiefly education and healthcare.
Likewise, protesters have often specifically attacked FIFA, the international football federation, and even the group’s leadership and football players for what they say is the organization’s complicity with the country’s government.
Beyond the demonstrations, preparations for the world sporting event have run into a number of setbacks. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke expressed concern on Thursday regarding the state of three of the twelve massive stadiums that have been built or refurbished for the event, capping off a two-week trip by warning organizers in Natal, Porto Alegre, and Sao Paulo - which will host the first match in two weeks - that it is now a “race against the clock.”