Protests could dis­rupt Brazil’s World Cup quest –Sco­lari

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

People protest­ing against the World Cup or in favour of more so­cial spend­ing could harm the coun­try’s chances of win­ning the tour­na­ment, Brazil man­ager Luiz Felipe Sco­lari said on Sun­day.

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Brazil­ians took to the streets dur­ing last year’s Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup to protest World Cup spend­ing and a lack of in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment.

Smaller scale protests are still oc­cur­ring in the coun­try, which will host the June 12-July 13 tour­na­ment for the first time since 1950.

Sco­lari said he was not against demon­stra­tions but the World Cup was not the best time for his play­ers to be con­fronted with any out­side is­sues.

“I think protests can hap­pen,” Sco­lari said in an in­ter­view on Fan­tas­tico, a pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion show. “If they are nor­mal, with­out smash­ing things up, then that is democ­racy.

“But I don’t know if it’s the right time.

“They are Brazil play­ers and they have one mis­sion. They can think, they can ex­press them­selves, they can say ‘I want a bet­ter Brazil, too’, but I don’t want it to be some­thing that causes prob­lems in our en­vi­ron­ment.”

When asked if protests could af­fect the play­ers, Sco­lari replied: “It could, big time.”

There is con­cern that pro­tes­tors will try to dis­rupt some of the 64 World Cup matches af­ter they marched to­wards the sta­dia used in last year’s Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup.

They were of­ten held back by riot po­lice us­ing dogs, per­cus­sion grenades and tear gas and po­lice have un­der­gone fur­ther train­ing to make sure there is no re­peat.

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