Wed, Jan 29, 2014 - Page 20 News List

FIFA condemns Brazil’s World Cup protest violence

AFP, RIO DE JANEIRO

FIFA on Monday condemned “all kinds of violence after a man was shot and injured by military police during an anti-World Cup demonstration on Saturday in Sao Paulo.

“FIFA fully respects people’s right to protest in a peaceful manner and as long as the rights of everybody are respected, but condemns any form of violence,” a FIFA statement read after a 22-year-old man was left in a coma after being shot in the neck and groin.

Police said he was carrying an explosive device.

FIFA has already warned Brazil it needs to speed up final preparations for the World Cup after accusing the hosts of starting work too late.

Leaving aside ongoing concerns over stadiums and other infrastructure issues such as transport, FIFA said it retained confidence in the “comprehensive security concept [put] in place by the Brazilian authorities for the Cup.”

“The security concept has worked well during the FIFA Confederations Cup and is built on models used at previous FIFA World Cups,” world soccer’s governing body said.

Saturday had seen anti-World Cup groups call demonstrations in 36 cities against the multibillion dollar cost of staging the tournament. Most were a damp squib, but Sao Paulo saw acts of vandalism with a car set ablaze, as well as a police vehicle and several office windows smashed.

Local media reported 128 arrests following a turnout of about 2,500.

Brazil is braced for social unrest of the kind that marred last year’s Confederations Cup dress rehearsal.

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