Brazilian police stop protesters reaching Maracana Stadium

Police stop protesters reaching Maracana
© Getty Images
Protesters are halted by police in Rio de Janeiro as they try to march on the Maracana Stadium, hours before Argentina's game with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Brazilian police have prevented around 200 protesters from marching on the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro as the arena hosted its first World Cup game.

According to AFP, law enforcement used pepper spray to halt demonstrations before they reached the stadium on Sunday evening, and one police officer is said to have fired a gun into the air and demanded that people leave the area immediately.

Protesters, unhappy at the vast cost of staging the tournament whilst many social welfare issues are unresolved, were heard to chant "Hey FIFA, return to Switzerland" and some individuals reportedly tried to breach a police barricade.

On Thursday, before the opening match of the World Cup, police in Sao Paulo fired stun grenades at protesters.

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