SAO PAULO (AP):
A group of about 50 protesters vandalised part of the construction site of a World Cup stadium and chanted anti-FIFA slogans during an inspection by organisers in Brazil yesterday.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and other officials were met by jeering protesters when they arrived at the construction site of the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, central Brazil.
The demonstrators, who were complaining about the cost of next year's World Cup and demanding improvements for local citizens, then managed to gain entry to the venue and painted messages that called for 'Less World Cup, more health and education'.
The protesters, mostly local teachers, carried banners reading 'FIFA go home' and chanted slogans from the stadium pitch while FIFA and government officials continued their inspection tour from the stands.
Brazil's Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and former Brazil stars Ronaldo and Bebeto were among those to witness the protest.
The incident came a day after a series of violent demonstrations in some of Brazil's largest cities, including one by teachers seeking better pay in Rio de Janeiro. The Confederations Cup earlier this year was marked by a series of violent protests and more are expected during the World Cup.
Because of the demonstrators, Valcke had to make the symbolic handover of tickets to workers at a different part of the site. The presentation was expected to take place at a stage set up near where the protesters were located, so it was moved to a room inside the stadium.
The venue in Cuiaba is one of six that needs to be completed by the December deadline established by FIFA, which arrived in the country on Monday to inspect some of the 12 World Cup venues.