RIO DE JANEIRO – Police fired stun grenades and tear gas to block a march by about 200 protesters toward Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium ahead of Sunday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Bosnia.
A standoff ensued, with banner-brandishing demonstrators massing near a police line guarding the route to Maracana.
Outnumbered both by security forces and journalists, the protesters chanted “FIFA, go back to Switzerland,” referring to international soccer’s governing organization. The protesters are angry over the lavish public spending on stadiums for the World Cup while conditions in Brazil’s schools and hospitals remain woeful.
Much smaller protests were also held in the capital, Brasilia, and Porto Alegre.