What's buzzing:

Protests could disrupt Brazil's World Cup quest: Scolari

Reuters
Brazil's coach Scolari attends the Champions League quarter-final first leg soccer match between Chelsea and Paris St Germain at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris
.

View photo

Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari attends the Champions League quarter-final first leg soccer match …

By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - People protesting against the World Cup or in favor 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.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

View Comments (0)
  • Costa has broken nose, should play for Chelsea vs Newcastle

    LONDON (AP) -- Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink says Diego Costa broke his nose in training but still expects the striker to be available for the English Premier League game against Newcastle on Saturday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago
  • Messi named La Liga player of the month for first time

    Messi named La Liga player of the month for first time

    Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been named La Liga's player of the month for January, the first time he has won the award since its introduction in 2013. Argentine Messi's team mate Neymar won the award in November, the first Barca player to … More »

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago
  • Newcastle's Colback, Riviere fit to face Chelsea

    Newcastle's Colback, Riviere fit to face Chelsea

    (Reuters) - Midfielder Jack Colback and striker Emmanuel Riviere have recovered from injuries in time to make the squad for Saturday's Premier League clash against 13th-placed Chelsea, manager Steve McClaren said on Friday. Colback has not featured … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
  • Afobe's attitude no problem for Bournemouth, says Howe

    Afobe's attitude no problem for Bournemouth, says Howe

    (Reuters) - Bournemouth have had no problems with the attitude of striker Benik Afobe who left his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers with question marks over his commitment, manager Eddie Howe said on Friday. The Arsenal academy graduate and … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • Klopp faces first selection headache as injury woes ease

    Klopp faces first selection headache as injury woes ease

    (Reuters) - Manager Juergen Klopp is looking forward to his first selection headache of the season as a number Liverpool's key players have returned to fitness ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa. Klopp has been dogged by an … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 15 minutes ago