FIFA Responds to Brazil Protests

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Homeless activists burn tires outside Brasilia's Estadio Nacional, venue for Saturday's opener of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. (Getty)
(WFI) FIFA say its officials are “monitoring the situation” in Brazil and believe police can cope with the violent protests breaking out ahead of Saturday’s kickoff of the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Fewer than 48 hours before the hosts take on Japan in Brasilia, thousands gathered in the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro late Thursday to protest escalating bus and subway fares.

According to an Associated Press report, 40 protesters were arrested in Sao Paulo, some with knives and gasoline bombs.

“We are monitoring the situation and we are in touch with the local authorities,” FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola told the AP, adding that world football’s governing body has ''full confidence and trust in the local authorities'' to cope with ''any circumstance”.

Protests continued overnight and into Friday, according to an AFP report, with hundreds more hitting the streets of Brasilia itself, including 400 homeless activists who burned tires and blocked access to Estadio Nacional, where Saturday’s opener will be played.

"Red card for the Cup, which violates human rights," read one protester’s banner.

"We are militant, but not terrorists. Who is this Cup for anyway?” chanted others, according to the AFP.

No arrests or injuries were reported in Brasilia as of late Friday.

By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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