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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup sidelights: All the news from Brazil right here...

World Cup sidelights: All the news from Brazil right here...

Last updated on: June 18, 2014 14:49 IST

World Cup sidelights: All the news from Brazil right here...

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Brazilian police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a small group of anti-World Cup protesters blocking a road to the stadium where Brazil played against Mexico on Tuesday.

-Catch the complete coverage of the football World Cup

At least 30 people were arrested in the demonstration after the group of about 100 tried to block the main street to the Castelao stadium in the northeastern city of Fortaleza, local police spokesman Fernando Albano said.

Some masked protesters threw rocks and sticks at buses emblazoned with logos of soccer's governing body FIFA before riot police and an armed vehicle moved in to disperse the crowd, television images showed.

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Image: A protestor holds a 'FIFA Go Home' sign during an anti-World Cup demonstration in the Copacabana section
Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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World Cup sidelights: All the news from Brazil right here...

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In another demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, police used pepper spray to disperse a crowd of about 100 people and detained at least seven, local police said.

Protests by Brazilians angry about alleged wasteful spending for the World Cup have been tamer than many feared following last year's massive demonstrations during a warm-up tournament, which eroded the popularity of President Dilma Rousseff.

Anti-World Cup protests have broken out in several cities and some have turned violent, but most have attracted only a few hundred people and they appear to be shrinking by the day.

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Image: Riot police detain protesters during a demonstration against the 2014 World Cup in Fortaleza
Photographs: David Pinheiro/Reuters

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Underprepared stadiums starve World Cup fans of Internet fix

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Brazilian stadiums finished just before the World Cup are holding up fine with near-capacity crowds but their cell phone networks show signs of buckling under the load.

In the six stadiums delivered this year, fans have been able to send and receive just half as many photos, emails, social network updates and other mobile data as at the other half dozen tournament venues, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.

The six stadiums that were ready for a warm-up tournament in Brazil last year received public wifi networks that help to offload data traffic from congested cell networks, according to industry group SindiTeleBrasil.

As a result, data traffic per person at those better-prepared stadiums has been twice as high around World Cup games, according to a Reuters analysis of the association's data.

The sluggish data service at the remaining arenas, all of which were delivered after a December deadline, highlights the cost of Brazil's rushed, last-minute preparations for the tournament.

Still, those present at arenas from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro during early matches have complained of spotty coverage, dropped calls and slow data connections.

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Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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13 killed in bombing of Nigeria World Cup viewing venue

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At least 13 people including young children were killed when a bomb tore through a venue in northeast Nigeria where fans had gathered to watch a World Cup soccer match, witnesses said.

Some people at the scene told Reuters an attacker dropped a device in front of the venue on Tuesday night in the town of Damaturu and ran off, while others said it was the work of a suicide bomber.

No one claimed responsibility for the blast, but Damaturu and the surrounding Yobe state are at the heart of a five-year-old insurgency by Islamist group Boko Haram.

The group was blamed for an attack on another venue screening soccer matches in the northeastern state of Adamawa that killed at least 14 people and wounded 12.

A Reuters reporter at Damaturu's GeneralSaniAbachaSpecialistHospital counted 13 people dead - including small children - and at least 20 wounded.

The Nigerian government has advised people to avoid gathering in public to watch the World Cup, concerned about potential attacks.

Many fans in soccer-mad Africa rely on informal venues - often open-sided structures with televisions set up in shops and side streets - to watch live coverage of the sport.

Boko Haram - whose name roughly translates as ‘Western education is sinful’ - has declared war on all signs of what it sees as corrupting Western influence.

The group has killed thousands in its push to carve out an Islamic state in religiously-mixed Nigeria.

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Image: People watch the World Cup match on giant screens setup at the FIFA fan fest (Picture for representational purpose)
Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Irish broadcaster apologises for Neymar-related expletive

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The World Cup presenter for Irish state broadcaster RTE had to make a quick apology for a pundit's four-letter remark about Neymar ahead of Brazil's Group A clash with Mexico on Tuesday.

Unaware that he was on air, outspoken pundit Eamon Dunphy responded to presenter Bill O'Herlihy's question about the level of expectation on the Brazil players by referring back to Neymar's second goal from the penalty spot against Croatia.

"When Neymar was shaping up to take that penalty, I thought he was (expletive) dreading it," Dunphy said, as fellow panelist, former Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann, toyed with his mobile phone.

The experienced O'Herlihy, who began covering the World Cup for RTE in 1978 and is set to retire after the tournament, immediately informed Dunphy he was on air before saying sorry to the viewers.

"I apologise for that, obviously that was an inexactitude," the embarrassed presenter said before moving swiftly on to the panel's predictions. The clip quickly spread on social media.


Image: eymar of Brazil
Photographs: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

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