Protesters rally before Confederations Cup opener in Brazil

By Evan Hilbert |

Approximately 500 protesters gathered outside the National Stadium in Brazil on Saturday complaining about the high costs of hosting the World Cup, the Associated Press reported.

Police were called to control the crowd, which assembled prior to Brazil facing Japan in the opening game of the Confederations Cup.

According to the AP, only three protesters were seen being detained by police.

The demonstration was enacted to protest the high costs incurred by staging the World Cup, which is scheduled to begin in June of 2014. Activists cited other programs -- health and education chief among them -- as more worthy recipients of public funds.

"We are demanding more respect to the population," a 21-year-old protester told the AP. "They are building these overpriced stadiums and are not worrying about the situation of their own people."

The stadium in Brasilia, Brazil's capital, is one of six built in advance of the World Cup and the most expensive, costing about $600 million, according to the AP.

"I'm upset that all public money for construction, hospitals and schools is being used to build stadiums without any utility," a local student said. "After the World Cup, no one will use this."

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