Football: Protests prior to Confederations Cup kick-off

Around a thousand protestors had to be kept away from Brasilia's Estadio Nacional by police prior to Saturday's opening Confederations Cup game between Brazil and Japan, an AFP journalist reported.

The young demonstrators were mainly protesting against the allocation of funds towards the tournament and next year's World Cup at a time when Brazil is in dire need of investment in other areas.

"I renounce the Cup; I want more money in health and education," chanted the protestors, who had planned their demonstration using social media.

The march began at a bus stop near the stadium in the Brazilian capital and was only halted by a road block set up by riot police in front of the arena, where Brazil were due to tackle Japan at 1600 local time (1900 GMT).

"Excuse the inconvenience, we're changing the country," read a banner brandished by one protestor.

On Friday, 400 homeless activists had burnt tires and blocked access to the stadium, angry at what they see as a land grab by officials to prepare for the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

Around 3,000 police officers have been charged with guaranteeing security in Brasilia for the opening game of the June 15-30 tournament, which also features Italy, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, Nigeria and Tahiti.