The first two days of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil were marred by protests, as many people feel that the money that has been spent on new stadiums for next summer’s World Cup would have been better used on education and hospitals. According to the BBC, up to 1,000 Brazilians protested near the National Stadium in Brasilia, the capital, on Saturday, ahead of Brazil’s 3-0 win against Japan in the tournament’s opening game.
Reuters reports that the protests continued on Sunday near Rio de Janeiro’s newly renovated Maracana stadium, where Mexico lost 2-1 to Italy. Several protestors were injured after police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protestors, with a number of arrests being made.
ESPN’s Tim Vickery explains that when Brazil was awarded the 2014 World Cup in 2007, its citizens were told that private investors would pay for stadiums, while public funds would be put toward more useful projects like urban transport. Instead, public money has been used to build and rebuild the country’s stadiums, leaving little left over to improve Brazil’s notoriously inadequate public transport infrastructure.