It wasn't the first World Cup-themed protest in Brazil and it most likely won't be the last, but police and protesters marked Thursday's opening of the World Cup with a tear gas-filled interaction in Sao Paulo.
The international soccer tournament will kick off later Thursday afternoon with a match in Sao Paulo featuring home country and Cup favorite Brazil against Croatia. Protesters in the country have been vocal and vigilant in voicing their displeasure at the money spent on hosting the World Cup instead of using it for education or health care.
Brazilian police, meanwhile, have said that protesters will not stop the matches from being played.
The two sides clashed on Thursday.
Protesters said they planned to march close to the stadium where the opening ceremony will take place. Further protests are planned in other Brazilian cities against the expense of hosting the tournament.
TV footage in Sao Paulo showed riot police using tear gas and rubber truncheons to disperse about 50 protesters near a metro station on the route to the Arena Corinthians. The demonstrators had been chanting, "There won't be a Cup."
A CNN producer named Barbara Arvanitidis was injured while covering the protest and it is suspected that she has a broken arm, her co-worker, Alex Thomas, tweeted Thursday morning.
The unrest in Sao Paulo is only part of the uncertainty that is clouding the opening of this World Cup. A 24-hour partial airport strike in Rio de Janeiro threatens to upset travel plans while other protests in Rio are said to be planned in the days ahead.
A proposed transit strike forced the U.S. and Belgium teams to cancel a planned scrimmage today. The Belgians were afraid of getting caught in traffic gridlock.
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- Unrest, Conflicts & War
- Sports & Recreation
- World Cup 2014
- Sao Paulo