100,000 expected to protest ahead of Brazil semifinal

The country could see its largest protest so far for the Selecao's upcoming Confederations Cup clash, which FIFA president Sepp Blatter is slated to attend.
Approximately 100,000 people are set to take to the streets of Belo Horizonte to protest on Wednesday ahead of Brazil's Confederations Cup semifinal with Uruguay.

It is just the latest in a number of demonstrations, which have filled the country's cities in recent days, and, with it being a holiday in the capital of Minas Gerais, authorities are expecting the largest turnout so far.

The Public Ministry of the city had suggested the semifinal be postponed out of fears for people's safety, but the police have since guaranteed the public's welfare following the decision to draft in reinforcements from Brazil's national guard.

The march, which is being organized by the city's residents and coordinated via social networking platforms, is fuelled by the population's anger that the government is ignoring its country's public service issues while focusing its attentions on hosting of sporting events such as the World Cup next summer - the cost of which is believed to be a source of much of the hostility.

Despite Wednesday's demonstration being planned as a a peaceful protest, concerns have been raised after its organizers said on social networking sites they expect people to wear items including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, gloves, goggles and a handkerchief to cover their face.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter is expected to be in attendance for the match, though it is not known whether the increased security has been implemented due to his presence.

Brazil striker Fred, who is expected to start against Uruguay, revealed how he supports the protest and hopes the demonstration can pass without incident.

"I'm in favor of the protest,s because the people deserve better," Fred said. "It has to be done without violence and vandalism though.

"I'm hoping it will be peaceful tomorrow, without confrontations with the police."

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