Brazil Calls in Troops to Protect Soccer Tournament

Protesters surge around stadium ahead of Confederations Cup
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2013 2:45 PM CDT
Brazil Calls in Troops to Protect Soccer Tournament
Riot police aim their weapons at protesters gathering near Castelao stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

"Excuse the inconvenience, we're improving the country." That was one of the protest signs seen today outside Castelao stadium, and the timing of the protests sweeping across the country is inconvenient indeed. Brazil is hosting the Confederations Cup, with the next game, a Brazil vs. Mexico match, scheduled for today at—you guessed it—Castelao stadium. The protest wave has authorities so worried that they've summoned more national guard troops to protect stadiums in Salvador, Belo Horizonte, and Brasilia, Bloomberg reports.

It's no coincidence that protesters have chosen to vent their anger outside of stadiums. Protesters say their governments have invested billions in the places while neglecting basic services like schools and hospitals, the Christian Science Monitor explains. And despite benefiting from the country's sports obsession, some of the players on Brazil's national team seem to support them, the AP reports. "Seeing the people on the streets ... makes me feel like joining them," says the striker known as Hulk. "They are doing the right thing." (Read more Brazil stories.)

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