“2014 World Cup Is A Lie” Thousands In Brazil Protest Against $14 Billion Spending On Soccer PHOTOS

by
Reuters
In what is being called the first round of protests ahead of the upcoming World Cup, mostly peaceful demonstrations took place across Brazil on Saturday.

In what is being called the first round of protests ahead of the upcoming World Cup, mostly peaceful demonstrations took place across Brazil on Saturday.

The largest protest was in Sao Paulo. It drew more than 2,000 demonstrators into the streets of Brazil's largest city, as frustration over the cost of the tournament lingers in the host country.

Many Brazilians are outraged that the country is spending $14 billion on World Cup related projects at a time when schools, hospitals, roads and public security are in dire need of investment.

But the demonstration in Sao Paulo fell far short of the more than 20,000 people who confirmed attendance on Facebook, highlighting the diminished energy of recent protests compared to the public unrest during the Confederations Cup tournament held here last June.

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As the largely peaceful Sao Paulo demonstration wrapped up around sunset, local television registered isolated acts of vandalism, including broken bank windows, a smashed police car and a Volkswagen beetle engulfed in flames.

Small protests totalling at the most in the hundreds were also held in other major cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Belo Horizonte, and Brasilia.

During the Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for the World Cup in June, more than a million Brazilians joined in protests.Gabriel, who gathered with fellow protesters in Rio de Janeiro, said that the World Cup was all a lie.

"It's absurd. I am here because the Cup is absurd and is a huge lie they are wanting us to believe," he said.

Protesting in Brasilia, the nation's capital, Joao Guilherme said the government chose the World Cup over its people.

"It was a mistake of the government to have relinquished sovereignty of the country and the well being of the people in favor of a mega-event that is bringing exclusion, that is being overpriced - money that could be invested in health care, education, this was the choice of the Brazilian government and I have no doubt of this," Guilherme said.

FIFA'S secretary general Jerome Valcke said in November that Brazil's problems with graft and poor public services should not be held against the World Cup.

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