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PHOTOS: Colourful opening to world football carnival

Last updated on: June 13, 2014 03:01 IST

PHOTOS: Colourful opening to world football carnival

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The greatest show on the earth kicked-off with a glittering opening ceremony that encapsulated the colour, culture and character of Brazil, which is hosting the football World Cup for first time since 1950.

Anti-tournament protests continued even hours before the ceremony, but the din was lost when thousands of football lovers from across the globe thronged the Corinthians Arena and watched the spectacle unfold with invigorating enthusiasm.

- The Football World Cup

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Image: Singers Claudia Leitte (L), Jennifer Lopez (C) and Pitbull perform during the 2014 World Cup opening ceremony at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo
Photographs: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

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Welcome message in different languages

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A giant LED ball, placed at the centre of the stadium, displayed the welcome message in different languages as hundreds of artists started to trickle in.

Dressed as trees, plants and flowers, the artists represented the nature of the country with background music, which had no drum tunes as yet.

Then followed a show on the diversity of the Brazilian people, their dance and martial arts, developed by the slaves in the 16th century for self defence.

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Image: The Happiness Flag is seen as artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images

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Game of Football

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It was followed by what Brazil is synonymous with: 'The Beautiful game'.

Several people, with football as headgear, and kids dressed as referees entered the pitch and depicted the conduct of a match.

Immediately after this, the Brazilian flag was paraded onto the pitch. 

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Image: Performers are thrown into the air during the 2014 World Cup opening ceremony.
Photographs: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters
Tags: Brazil

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Jennifer Lopez, Piutbull enthralled the audience

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A giant ball opened and took the form of a flower. Brazilian singer Claudinha surfaced from under it along with Pop icon Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pit Bull.

The trio sang the official World Cup song We Are One (Ole Ola) -- but it appeared Jennifer's mike was not working.

Also, the song could not be heard clearly and the ceremony, in which about 500 people showed the vibrant colours of Brazil, concluded abruptly.

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Image: Performers participate in the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo
Photographs: Damir Sagolj /Reuters

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Protests in Brazil

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Several anti-government protests had marred the build up to the tournament and police had to fire tear gas and rubber bullets to defuse a fresh protest near a Sao Paulo subway station, hours before the opening ceremony.

More protests are expected in the country over high cost of the staging the World Cup when more spending on health, education and subsidised transport is desired by people.

Not only the protests but also the delays in construction of stadias had put the organisers on the edge.

 


Image: A demonstrator is detained after clashes with police during a protest against the 2014 World Cup in Porto Alegre
Photographs: Edgard Garrido/Reuters

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